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JAN 6 1910 

Division 'T)"3'4'^( 

Section m^l 




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The Pro b l em of P a i n . 

The IWon before I 

. Controversu belw 


II E , L) U A M A 


. The First Cycle. I. •-22 

I. Their Coming. II. II -III. i. Their Symp» 

II. The controversy. Iv.-xxxl. i. Fint Cycle. 

II. The Secoim Cycle. II. I-IO 

i. Conflict on Eonh. 
'■ hISSiIpIi'."'"'"'''' 

. The Last Voice. xxxlL-xxxvIL 

"■ ' 'ii'i' I "■ Th'if Sj"n«. J: TbVi Sp3S' 

I C. Conlroverii 

.», HiBAdmiraon. 
! A His ptjt Qutslio 
I ,. Hi. Xrenmeni. 

iii. Elihu's Pliilosophy. 

U: RMffimaumir Divine P 
1 .. The Manifestations of Gre 
i 3^ R^aKSSm of God's Ml 

1 a. Memory of Past Prospen'ty. 
} fi. The PrMent Condition by Coi 

. JEHOVAH. The ^ 


e-ThewndOj.' ,?,. 

The Man beyond the 

i. Hil Children. 13-11 

c. UngthofD.ys. ,fr,; 



THE ^^fee/cALSt^ 






New York Ctttcago Toronto 

Fleming H. Revell Company 

London and Edinburgh 

iN 6 1910 

Copyright, 1909, by 

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The preface to this volume is found in the 
chapter on Job in the Introductory Volume, 
Job to Malachi, of " The Analyzed Bible." 

Herein, we proceed at once to the more de- 
tailed analysis of what is set forth in bare 
outline therein. 

Familiarity with that outline is necessary to 
the study of this book. 

G. Campbell Moegan. 





His Character 15 

His Family 16 

His Wealth 16 

the deama 
co:n^tkoveesy between heaven and 


The First Cycle 20 

The Council in Heaven .... 20 

Conflict on Earth 22 

8 Contents 


The Second Cycle 24 

The Council in Heaven .... 24 

Conflict on Earth 25 



Their Coming 29 

Their Sympathy 29 

Job's Lamentation . . . .. . 32 

The Controversy 39 

The Eirst Cycle 40 

Eliphaz 40 

Job's Answer 49 

Bildad 67 

Job's Answer 61 

Zophar 73 

Job's Answer 79 

Contents 9 


The Second Cycle 93 

Eliphaz 93 

Job^s Answer 101 

Bildad 109 

Job's Answer 115 

Zophar 123 

Job's Answer 129 

The Third Cycle 137 

Eliphaz ....... 137 

Job's Answer 143 

Bildad 149 

Job's Answer 153 

Job's Final Answer . . . .157 

The Last Voice 185 

Introduction 185 

Peeliminaby 186 

10 Contents 


Elihu answf,t?s Job .... 

. 191 

Elihu's Philosophy .... 

. 199 


Jehovah. The Eirst Unveiliis^g . . 207 

The Challenge of God .... 208 

God and the Material Universe. Inanimate 208 

God and the Material Universe. Animal 

Creation 211 

Interlude 212 

Jehovah's Challenge 212 

Job's Answer 213 

Jehovah. The Second Unveiling . . 215 

The Challenge of God . . . . 215 

Two Illustrations 216 

Contents 11 


Job's Answer 218 

His Knowledge of God . . . .219 
His Knowledge of himself . . . 219 
His Kepentance 219 


The Prevailing Intercessor . . . 221 
The Keturn of his Acquaintances . 222 
The Prosperity 222 


PROLOGUE. The Man before the Process. i. 1-5 

^ i. His Character. ^ 




ii. His Family. 2, 4, & 5 




iii. His Wealth. 3 





TWO pictures stand, one at the opening 
and one at the close of the book, pre- 
senting Job in the midst of circumstances of 

In this first he is presented as to his char- 
acter, his family, and his wealth; in all of 
which his greatness is apparent. 

i. His Character 

The language describing his character is 
simple and yet almost exhaustive in its sug- 
gestiveness of that high integrity which never 
fails to command respect. It is described 
as to manifestation and inspiration. 

In outward manifestation he was perfect 
and upright, a description which indicates 
moral blamelessness rather than sinless per- 

The inspiration of this integrity was that 

16 Job 

he " feared God and eschewed evil.'' The 
morality of Job was based on his religion, and 
was the necessary outcome thereof. This is 
the only root-principle out of which a strong 
and abiding morality ever growls. 

ii. His Family 

The picture of Job in the midst of his family 
is full of beauty. He is revealed as rejoicing 
in his children; not attempting to stay their 
festivity, but entering into all the joy of it. 
His love for them was expressed in highest 
form in his solicitude for their character. As 
priest of his family he carried them upon his 
heart before God, lest by any chance in the 
midst of their festivity they should commit sin 
against Him. 

iii. His Wealth 

Finally he is revealed as a man of great 
wealth and references to his possessions in 
subsequent parts of the book show that his 
wealth was rightly used. 

In this picture of the man his greatness is 
described in the order of its importance; be- 
ginning with those moral and spiritual facts 

Prologue 17 

which resulted from his relationship to God; 
proceeding through tender and gracious atti- 
tudes and activities, which characterized his 
relationship to his family; and ending with a 
statement of the vastness of the wealth which 
he possessed, and in the use of which he dem- 
onstrated his greatness. 

Thus the man stands before us, a strong 
and majestic figure, upright and tender, just 
and gracious ; in the language of the chronicler, 
" the greatest of all the children of the east." 


6-xlii. 6 


AND HF.I.1.. 

i. 6-ii. 10 


i. 6-22 

i. The Council in Heaven. 

i. 6-12 




9, 10 





I. Permission. 

2. Limitation. " Only." 

ii. Conflict on Earth. 

i. 13-22 

a. SATAN. 


I. His Malice. 

2. His Persistence. 

3. His Limitation. 

b. JOB. 


I. His Attitude. 

2. His Words. 

n. THE SECOND CYCLE. ii. i-io 

i. The Council in Heaven. ii. 1-6 




1. Permission. 

2. Limitation. 

ii. Conflict on Earth. ii. 7-10 


1. The Pain of the Past. 

2. The New — Personal Suffering, 



The Drama 19 


The main body of the book of Job dramat- 
ically sets forth three great controversies, in 
each of which the ultimate victory is on the 
side of right and truth. 

The first is controversy between heaven and 
hell, concerning the earth. The spiritual 
forces of the universe are graphically revealed 
in their conflict concerning man. 

In the second the controversy is between 
Job and his friends, in which is revealed the 
impossibility of understanding the things 
which appear, by the application to them of 
measurements which are wholly of time and 

In the last the controversy is between 
Jehovah and Job, in which the consciousness 
of the greatness of Jehovah is the means by 
which the triumph of trust is won in the ex- 
perience of a man. 


This controversy falls into two cycles, the 
first of which concerns the possessions of Job ; 
while the second has to do with his person. 

20 Job 


In this cycle there are two movements, the 
first being descriptive of a council in heaven; 
and the second of the consequent conflict on 

i. The Council in Heaven 

The situation presented in this section is 
a most startling one. Heaven is seen in argu- 
ment with hell about earth. God is heard 
speaking in defence of a man against Satan. 

The assumption of the picture is that of 
the sovereignty of God over the whole universe, 
and angel messengers of the Most High are 
seen gathered to Him in awe-inspiring council. 
Among them is one, like them in nature, but 
wholly unlike them in character. He is named 
Satan, which literally means the Adversary. 

When challenged by Jehovah in the words, 
" Whence comest thou? " his answer was 
characterized by the sob of a weird unrest, 
" From going to and fro in the earth, and from 
walking up and down in it." That answer 
nevertheless revealed the fact that he had been 
moving within appointed limits. His pres- 

The Drama 21 

entation of himself among the angels of God 
was not that of an unwarranted or unexpected 
intrusion, but that rather of the compelling 
authority of the Most High, from which even 
he could not escape. 

Thus we see the enthroned and authoritative 
Jehovah; and all angelic beings, both good 
and bad, compelled to appear before Him, and 
report to Him. This is a key to the whole 
book, and at once corrects all those loose ideas 
concerning Satan which characterize so much 
of our thinking. There are certain spheres in 
which the enemy is permitted to work out his 
malevolent purposes, but always under control. 

This adversary, God challenged concerning 
His servant Job, and in so doing uttered the 
Divine estimate of the man. " Hast thou con- 
sidered My servant Job? for there is none like 
him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, 
one that feareth God and escheweth evil." 
The adversary's estimate was given in reply. 
"Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not 
Thou made an hedge about him, and about his 
house, and about all that he hath, on every 
side? Thou hast blessed the work of his 
hands, and his substance is increased in the 
land." That reply practically declared that 
the attitude of Job toward God was based on 

22 Job 

pure selfishness. According to Satan, if what 
Job possessed were taken from him, he would 
cease to be loyal to the throne of God. 

This is one problem which the trials of Job 
are intended to answer for all time. From 
this moment in our study of the book we must 
remember that Job becomes a representative 
man in the economy of heaven. 

Permission was given to the adversary to 
deal with the possessions of Job. Limits be- 
yond which he would not be allowed to go 
were clearly stated. The person of the patri- 
arch was not to be touched. In that permis- 
sion are evidences of the Divine government, 
and of the Divine tenderness. 

ii. Conflict on Earth 

The scene is changed, and the issue on earth 
of the council in heaven is manifest. The 
storm breaks in all its fury upon the head of 
Job. The conflict between the adversary and 
the servant of God proceeds. In one sense 
all the advantage seems to be with the former, 
for Job is powerless against his enemy up to 
a certain point. There is, however, an inner 
citadel which the enemy cannot touch. 

Satan is revealed in startling light. His 

The Drama 23 

malice is seen in his choice of time. He 
strikes in the midst of prosperity. His per- 
sistence is manifest in the fact that he pro- 
ceeds to the uttermost bound of the permission 
given. His limitation is evident in that he 
was not able to exceed that bound. 

Job now stands before us, a pathetic and 
awful figure. Suddenly he has passed from 
abounding prosperity to abject poverty, and 
all but absolute bereavement. His answer to 
the sweeping of the storm is characterized by 
heroism and vast breadth of outlook. There 
was no affectation of stoicism. He was pro- 
foundly afflicted, and manifested it by all the 
outward signs of mourning. 

In the midst of this, however, he turned 
again to the highest act of life, and bowed 
in reverential worship. His words were those 
of the profoundest philosophy. He recognized 
that man is more than the things which he 
gathers about him. The beginning and ending 
are in nakedness. His attitude was more than 
that of resignation. Discerning the govern- 
ment of Jehovah in bane, as well as in blessing, 
he lifted to Him, out of the midst of dire 
calamity, the sacrifice of praise. Thus the 
adversary's lie in the council of heaven was 

24 Job 


In this cycle there are again the two move- 
ments of the previous one, namely first that 
of a council in heaven; and secondly that of 
consequent conflict on earth. 

1. The Council in Heaven 

Again the solemn council met, and again 
Satan was present. The Most High uttered 
the same estimate of His servant as before; 
but adding a word now which claimed victory 
for His servant Job in the conflict which had 
taken place. The adversary then declared that 
the limits which God had set, had hindered 
him in the accomplishment of his purpose. 
Though Job had triumphed over his loss of 
possessions he was not therefore proven loyal 
to God. The essential greatness of the man 
was unimpaired, because his own life had not 
been touched by weakness. Let him but come 
to consciousness of failing strength in his own 
personality, and renunciation of God would 
immediately ensue. 

This is the devil's perpetual estimate of 
humanity; he affirms that flesh is supreme. 

The Drama 25 

Here that view was argued in the courts of 
heaven as a slander against a trusting soul. 
Long centuries after, it was suggested in the 
loneliness of the wilderness to another Man. 
Evil at its fountain head holds degraded views 
of humanity, and when men can be persuaded 
to accept them, evil ensures the degradation 
which it postulates. 

Once again he was permitted to attempt 
to prove his slander, but again the Divine 
limit was set to the sphere of his operation. 
The life of the man was to be held sacred. 

ii. Conflict on Earth 

The adversary went forth to his terrible 
work, and we are immediately presented with 
the awful picture of the man of God weakened 
in his own personality by the unutterable 
misery of physical affliction. 

In reverently looking at him in the midst 
of this suffering we must not forget the sor- 
row's of his heart resulting from the previous 
visitation. We see him now, therefore, over- 
whelmed with sorrows of mind and of body; 
and their combined strength buffeted him as 
with great wings of darkness. 

To these almost overwhelming experiences 

26 Job 

there was now added the new and subtle attack 
of the sympathy of his wife. The word sym- 
pathy is used here with all care. Let no one 
who has never stood and watched the supreme 
object of love, stricken, smitten, and afllicted, 
cast one stone of accusation at this woman. 

Rising superior to all the visitation, her 
love, utterly misguided it is true, counselled 
that he die by renouncing God. Such a sug- 
gestion from a foe would have been terrible. 
Its force was far greater when it came from 
the dearest one in life. 

His answer was characterized by tenderness 
towards her, and yet by unswerving loyalty to 
God. As he had affirmed personality to be 
greater than possession, so now he demon- 
strated the strength of his own character by 
recognition of the sovereign right of God, and 
of the fact that the wisdom of man consists 
in his willingness to receive from the hand of 
God, not good and blessing and ease only, 
but evil and affliction and sorrow. 

Here the adversary passes out of sight, 
never reappearing in the course of the book. 
He has done his dire and dreadful work. So 
far his slander is manifestly a lie. 

In these movements the veil has been drawn 
aside for us, so that we may enter into the 

The Drama 27 

meaning of the sorrows of Job. It is im- 
portant that we should remember, as we pro- 
ceed, that all the controversy which follows 
resulted from the fact that neither Job nor 
his friends were aware of these conflicts in 
the heavenly places concerning him. 


FRIENDS. ii. ii-xxxvii. 

L THEIR COMING. ii. n-iii. 

i. Their Sympathy. ii. 11-13 


1. Eliphaz. 

2. Bildad. 

3. Zophar. 



ii. Job's Lamentation. iii. 


1. Curses the Day of his Birth. 1-5 

2. Curses the Night of his Conception. 



1. Questions of Complaint. 11-12 

2. The Quietness of Death. 13-19 

a. Kings in Mausoleums. 13-14 

/3. Princes and their Gold. 15 

-y. Infants which never saw Light. 16-19 


1. Questions of Complaint. 20-23 

2. Description of his Sorrow. 24-26 

The Drama 29 


In this controversy there are three divisions, 
the first giving an account of the coming of 
the friends of Job; the second describing the 
long conflict between them and him; and the 
third, introducing another speaker, whose voice 
is the last to which Job listened before the 
great Theophany. 


This section tells the story of the coming 
of his friends, and of the pouring out of his 
soul in bitter lamentation to those whom he 
regarded as sympathetic listeners. 

i. Their Sympathy 

The darkest days for Job now began. In 
the clash of catastrophe there is always some- 
thing of stimulus. The very shock and sur- 
prise of the strokes as they fall, create strength 
in which men triumph. It is in the brooding 
silence which enwraps the spirit afterwards, 
that the fiercest fight is waged. Into that 
silence and consequent strife, the patriarch 
now passed. 

30 Job 

Of all those who had known him in the 
days of prosperity, who had shared the gener- 
osity of his hospitality, or who had been suc- 
coured by his benevolence, only three came to 
him in the day of his overwhelming calamity. 
They were joined presently by another, Elihu, 
the record leaving us in doubt as to whether 
he was one of those who had known Job in 
the earlier days, or had been a casual listener 
to the controversy between him and his friends. 

The friends are named as '' Eliphaz the 
Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar 
the Naamathite." Beyond this we know noth- 
ing of them, save that Teman was one of the 
Edomite clans, and Shuah was a brother tribe 
to Midian. Of Naamah nothing is known. 

The question is forced upon the mind as to 
where all those were who had sunned them- 
selves in his prosperity. The inquiry reveals 
those human quantities in the story which cre- 
ate the power of its appeal to men of every 
successive age. Acquaintances are ever com- 
rades of sunlit hours. It is only friends who 
gather round a sufferer in the days of darkness. 
While it is true that Job ultimately suffered 
more at the hands of these friends than by the 
attacks of the foe, it is nevertheless good to 
recognize that their coming was that of sym- 

The Drama 31 

pathy. They had evidently heard of his calam- 
ities, and they made a definite appointment 
to go to visit him, and the purpose of that visit 
is distinctly declared to be a detemination to 
bemoan him, and a desire to comfort him. 

Very graphic is the description of the effect 
produced upon them by the sight of their 
friend. It is declared that when they saw him, 
they did not know him; and the intention is 
perfectly clear. It does not of course literally 
mean that they did not know who he was, 
but that he was so changed — and remembering 
the malady from which he was suffering, we 
may with perfect accuracy say that he was so 
disfigured — that it was difficult to believe that 
he was the man whom they had known in 
his strength and prosperity. They were over- 
whelmed, and employed all the Oriental signs 
of profound grief, as lifting up their voices, 
they wept, rending their mantles, and sprink- 
ling dust upon their heads toward heaven. 

The reality of their sympathy is most re- 
markably demonstrated by the fact that for 
seven days and nights they sat in his presence 
in unbroken silence. In overwhelming sor- 
row, true friendship invariably expresses itself 
more perfectly by silence than by speech. 

It may be well also to remember that when 

32 Job 

presently their arguments caused him so much 
suffering, their friendship was still apparent in 
the fact that what they thought concerning 
him they said to him, rather than to others 
about him. 

So far these men are wholly to be admired, 
and their failure presently w^as that of for- 
getting that — 

" There are more things in heaven and earth. 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'' 

Their sincerity and honesty can never be called 
in question. 

ii. Job's Lamentation 

Silent sympathy always creates an atmos- 
phere in which it is possible for grief to ex- 
press itself. The bitter lamentation of Job 
was unquestionably a great relief to him, and 
was made possible by their sympathy. So far 
then, they were of real service to him. It is 
always infinitely better to speak out the dark 
questionings of the heart, than to brood over 
them in silence. 

This lamentation is of the nature of a great 
cry for escape, rather than a description of 
the oppressing sorrows. In it there are three 

The Drama 33 

movements. The first consists of a terrible 
cursing of the day of his birth, and the night 
of his conception. The second consists of 
lamentation over the fact of his preservation. 
The last mourns his continued being, seeing he 
is in circumstances of such unceasing and ir- 
remedial sorrow. The whole is a great lamen- 
tation pulsing with pain, the cry of a man to 
whom his very life has become an almost in- 
tolerable burden. 


Out of the midst of the present conscious- 
ness, he looked back to the day of his birth, 
and cursed it as a day of evil, sobbing out 
desires concerning it, which while impossible 
of fulfilment, did nevertheless show how pro- 
found and overwhelming his present sorrow 

Thus meditating, his mind passed back to 
that earlier mystery of his conception, and in 
language throbbing with agony, involved it in 
the cursing pronounced upon the day of his 

34 Job 


But such cursing was useless. His concep- 
tion and his birth were facts from which there 
could be no escape. If then these could not 
be changed, why did he live, or why was he 
permitted to continue to live? In a series of 
questions, trembling with the tones of com- 
plaint, he mourned the tender care which had 
nourished and sustained him; and thought of 
the quietness which would have been his could 
he have ceased to be. Then he would have 
slept like kings and the great ones of the earth 
in the tombs which they build for themselves ; 
or like princes who leave behind them their 
silver and their gold. In each of these figures 
there is a touch of satire in the contemplation 
of life. Its unrest was manifest in the case 
of the kings in the building of their tombs, 
and in the case of the princes in the very 
possession of gold and silver. Kest came to 
them when they passed within the tomb, and 
lost their possessions. He then employed an- 
other and more graphic figure. He would fain 
have escaped as an infant, which had never 
seen the light. All these are considered as 
having found release in death ; and the passage 

'I'he Drama 35 

which follows is full of beauty in its descrip- 
tion of death as the place of quietness and 
rest, where all are free from the things that 
cause suffering in the midst of life. 


Finally, again conscious that such lamenta- 
tion is useless because death has not given 
him release, he mourned his continued being, 
challenging either the wisdom or the kindness, 
or both, of continuing life to one who is in 
circumstances of such unceasing and irreme- 
dial sorrow; a sorrow which he described as 
an experience from which there is no escape, 
as a mystery which overwhelms the spirit, and 
as a troubled restlessness which finds no relief. 

A contrast of this threefold lamentation 
with the words which Job uttered after the 
first and second cycles of conflict in the first 
division of the book show that his unrest was 
becoming more pronounced as pain invaded 
the deeper things of his personality. When 
at the close of the first onslaught of the enemy 
he was bereft of all possessions, he had 
affirmed his sense of the greatness of person- 
ality, and his abiding conviction of the good- 
ness of the Divine government. At the close 

36 Job 

of the second onslaught, even in the presence 
of the insidious suggestion of his wife, he still 
revealed his sense of the government of God 
over good and evil. 

In this lamentation it is evident that these 
convictions were shaken. The terrible nature 
of the suffering which he endured had created 
a lower sense of the value of his own life. 
Instead of the dignified, " Naked came I out 
of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return 
thither," we have the cursing of the day of 
his birth. 

His conviction of the goodness of the Divine 
government was weakened. Instead of the 
restful, " The Lord gave, and the Lord hath 
taken away,'' we have a troubled lament in 
which he sighed for the quietness of death. 

His assurance of the government of God 
over good and evil was shaken. Instead of the 
inquiry, " Shall we receive good at the hand 
of God, and shall we not receive evil?" there 
was the bitter inquiry, " Wherefore is light 
gi^'^n to him that is in misery? " 

The whole lamentation breathes the con- 
sciousness of pain, and of mystery, and is 
an almost tumultuous cry for escape. 


- i. The First Cycle. iv.-xiv. 

a. ELIPHAZ. iv.-v. 

1. Introduction. iv.i-6 

a. Apology made, but necessity urged. i, 2 

^. Amazement at Job's Failure. 3-5 

y. Appeal. 6 

2. The Philosophy Stated. iv. 7-v. 7 

a. T/i^ Relation between Suffering and 

Sin. iv. 7-11 

Stated. 7 

Illustrated. 8-1 1 

^. 7%^ Midnight Vision and Voice. 12-21 

y. The Challenge to Job. v. 1-5 

Made. i, 2 

Illustrated. 3-5 

6. Summary. 6, 7 

3. T/i^ Advice Given. v. 8-27 

a. r/r^ FiVji Statement. v. 8-16 

Advice given. 8 

Argued. 9-16 

p. The Second Statement. v. 17-26 

Advice given. 17 

Argued. 18-26 

y. Formal Conclusion. v. 27 

The Drama 39 


In this second section of the division we 
have the actual account of the long con- 
troversy between Job and his three friends. 
It falls into three cycles. As we proceed, the 
details in each case will be manifest. It is 
well, however, that the main value of each 
should be stated at once. 

In the first cycle Eliphaz, Bildad, and 
Zophar declared that God is righteous, that 
He punishes the wicked, and blesses the good. 
Job answered these arguments by declaring 
that his own experience proved their falsity; 
he was righteous, and yet afflicted. 

In the second cycle, while holding strenu- 
ously to the positions advanced in the first, 
they narrowed the application by declaring 
that it is the wicked who are afflicted. This 
Job answered again, out of his own experi- 
ence, by affirming that the righteous are also 
afflicted; and, by observation, that the wicked 
are not always afflicted. 

In the third cycle, still adhering to the posi- 
tions already taken up, their words were per- 
sonal as they declared that Job had sinned, 
and therefore suffered. In this case his answer 

40 Job 

was that of a solemn protestation of inno- 

i. The First Cycle 

In this cycle each of the three friends spoke 
to Job, and was answered by him. They spoke 
to one general proposition, that God is right- 
eous, and prospers the just, and punishes the 
wicked. A method is manifest in the move- 
ment in that in the speech of Eliphaz the prin- 
ciple is declared, in that of Bildad it is illus- 
trated, and in that of Zophar it is applied. 


The speech of Eliphaz falls into three parts ; 
an introduction ; a statement of his philosophy ; 
and his consequent advice to Job. 

1. Introduction 

Before listening to the speech of Eliphaz it 
is well to refresh the memory as to the cir- 
cumstances in the midst of which Job listened 
to them. As a result of the long series of 
catastrophes through which he had passed, he 
was a pauper, bereft of his children, broken in 

The Drama 41 

health, and overwhelmed with mystery. The 
one ray of light in the midst of the darkness 
had been that of the coming of his friends, and 
their long and sympathetic silence. This si- 
lence had given him the opportunity of pouring 
out his soul in lamentation. So far as he knew, 
there was nothing to be done, and nothing 
more to be said. He waited in the centre of 

The approach of Eliphaz is characterized 
by courtesy, but it lacks w^armth. Evidently 
recognizing the difficulty and delicacy of his 
task, his first words were in the form of a ques- 
tion which is of the nature of apology. This 
however was immediately followed by another 
question in which he practically declared that 
it was impossible to remain silent. He then 
confessed his amazement at what he felt was a 
manifestation of failure on the part of Job. 
The man who had instructed and strengthened 
and upheld and confirmed others in hours of 
trouble, was weak and craven in the midst of 
his own calamities. He then appealed to him 
that his fear of God should be his confidence, 
and the integrity of his ways his hope. It is 
to be noticed that this appeal is in the form 
of a question, and contains the suggestion that 
the absence of confidence demonstrates failure 

42 Job 

in the fear of God, and absence of hope indi- 
cates lack of integrity. This, as a matter of 
fact, is the argument which he would now 
elaborate. In the introduction of his speech 
it is thus hinted at only. 

2. The PMlosopJiy Stated 

In brief words Eliphaz states and illustrates 
his philosophy. The statement is in the form 
of a proposition interrogatively expressed. 
Positively it may thus be stated; Those who 
perish are not innocent ; the upright are never 
cut off. The accuracy of his proposition he 
then argued by illustration, and he added force 
to his illustration by the fact that he declared 
it was the result of his observation. Suf- 
fering is God's punishment of wickedness, a 
harvest for which there must have been a 
previous sowing. Making the lion the symbol 
of fierceness in wickedness, he affirmed his con- 
viction that the judgment of God was inevi- 
table on such. To this man it was unthinkable 
that there could be suffering which did not 
result from sin, and this is the essence of his 

Eliphaz then turned aside in order to de- 
scribe a spiritual experience through which he 

The Drama 43 

had passed. It is well first to examine it, and 
then to inquire why he referred to it at this 

It is the story of a night vision. The phrase 
of which he made use, " a deep sleep," is only 
found in three other instances in the Old Testa- 
ment, and in each case it is used in connec- 
tion with some vision, or wonderful working of 
God. He proceeded to describe his experiences 
while in this condition. He was first con- 
scious of a presence which he described as 
" spirit '' or " breath.'' While conscious of a 
form, he was unable to describe the appearance 
of the presence. Filled with fear by the vision, 
he heard a voice, and the supreme purpose of 
Eliphaz in speaking to Job was to tell him 
what this voice had said. He unveiled his own 
deepest spiritual experience in order to carry 
conviction to Job, both of his honesty, and of 
his certainty that his philosophy was right. 
With the mystic presence which filled all his 
nature with a sense of fear, we need not tarry. 
The great message was that of the purity of 
God, and the sin and failure of man. 

This view explains the reason why Eliphaz 
told Job of the vision and the voice. In all 
probability he had seen on the face of his 
friend, in spite of his statement of philosophy, 

44 Job 

and indeed as the result of it, a resentment 
against the application. Job's attitude to- 
wards his argument was that of scorn. He 
sat overwhelmed and almost crushed by suf- 
fering, and yet with a bearing which assumed 
his integrity, and suggested his determination 
to vindicate his character against anything 
which should be said. In order to combat 
that attitude, Eliphaz speaks of that spiritual 
experience, through which he had come to the 
consciousness of sin. 

Proceeding, Eliphaz asked Job to whom he 
would appeal, to which of the holy ones; that 
is as against the truth which he had declared, 
or in defence of himself in the light thereof. 
Admitting that he had seen the foolish prosper, 
he declared that ultimately they had been 
overwhelmed, and his description of the deso- 
lation falling upon them coincided with the 
experiences through which Job himself had 
but recently passed. Here also it is impossible 
to escape the conviction that Eliphaz was look- 
ing at Job as he uttered these words, and 
connecting what he saw of anger and of vexa- 
tion, with what he had heard in the revelation 
of the night. Job had become irritable, and 
Eliphaz traced the irritability to his folly. In 
the light of evident guilt, vexation and jeal- 

The Drama 45 

ousy such as Job was manifesting constitute 
such sin as must produce final undoing. 

His attempted explanation of the meaning 
of suffering, Eliphaz then crystallized into 
proverbial form. 

" Affliction cometh not forth of the dust, 
Neither doth trouble spring out of the 

ground ; 
But man is born unto trouble, 
As the sparks fly upward." 

There is the cause for affliction and for trouble. 
When Eliphaz declared that " man is born 
unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward," he did 
not mean that trouble comes to man as surely 
as sparks fly upward, for as a matter of fact 
sparks do not always fly upward. He rather 
intended to declare that wherever sparks are 
seen, they demonstrate the fact of fire, so that 
if you see men suffering trouble, you may know 
there is reason for it. As sparks flying upward 
demonstrate the fact of flre, so the trouble of 
a man demonstrates the fact of sin. 

3. The Advice Given 

Eliphaz finally gave his advice to Job by 
telling him what he would do under similar 

46 . Job 

circumstances. He would remit his case to 
God entirely. This declaration is followed by 
a passage of great beauty, in which he speaks 
of the faithfulness and the might of the Most 
High in such terms as make it evident that he 
was a man devout and earnest, who himself 
had practical experience of the life of fellow- 
ship with God. 

His second word of advice was one in which 
he urged Job to submit himself to the chastise- 
ments of the Lord, and in order to persuade 
his friend to such action, described the con- 
fidence and ultimate deliverance and restora- 
tion which would come to him if his trust were 
in God. 

Thus Eliphaz, with consideration and cour- 
tesy, declared his philosophy. He was con- 
vinced that Job's sorrows were the result of 
something in Job, and therefore he would be 
well advised to submit his case to Him, and to 
value his suffering as the chastening of God. 
It was all generally true, but short-sighted. 
He had no knowledge of the counsels in the 
spiritual world, or of how great the dignity 
of that man is, in whose life God works out 
into human history the settlement of some 
great question. The mistake of Eliphaz con- 
sisted in his attempt to press all things into 

The Drama 47 

the compass of his philosophy, and his forget- 
fulness of the fact that 

" There are more things in heaven and earth, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." 

b. JOB'S ANSWER. vi., vii. 

1. His Reply to the Charge. vi. 1-13 

a. Admission and Explanation. 1-4 

/3. Defence by Illustration. 5-7 

Y. Desire for Death, and Defence. 8-13 

2. His Reply to his Friends. vi. 14-30 

a. Satire. 14-21 

The Expectation. 14 

The Disappointment. 15-21 

p. Reproach. 22, 23 

y. Demand for Definiteness. 24-30 

The Plea. 24 

The Folly of the Method. 25, 26 

His Anger expressed. 27 

The Passionate Plea for Justice. 28-30 

3. His Complaint to Jehovah. vii. 

o. The Misery of Life. i-io 

Its Hard Conditions. 1-5 

Toil under Compulsion. 1-3 

Suffering without Relief. 4-5 

Its Brief Duration. 6-10 

Speed without Hope. 6, 7 

Ending v/ithout Return. 8-10 

/3. The Complaint to God. 11-21 

The Determination, i* 

The threefold Appeal. 12-21 

On the ground of his Harmlessness. 12-15 

On the ground of his Littleness. 16-19 

On the supposition of Sin. 20, 21 

The Drama 49 


To this address of Eliphaz, Job^s answer 
moves in three sections. The first is a reply 
in general terms to the charge preferred. The 
second is a reply to his friend, and is of the 
nature of a complaint that he and those asso- 
ciated with him have failed in friendship. 
The third is a lamentation which merges into a 
complaint against God, Whose dealing he can- 
not understand. 

1. His Reply to the Charge 

Job's reply to the charge was a protest 
against the method of Eliphaz. As a matter 
of fact he did not reply to the deduction which 
the argument of Eliphaz suggested, but rather 
to the charge he definitely made of unrea- 
sonableness and folly manifest in his lamenta- 
tion. Eliphaz had used terms of strange con- 
demnation. Job declared in effect that he was 
unable to understand the cry, because he did 
not know the pain. He admitted his vexation, 
but claimed that vexation and calamity should 
be set over against each other, poised in fair 
balances. If this were done, the calamitj^ 

50 Job 

would be fouud to be so heavy as to excuse 
even the rashness of his speech. The problem 
of the attitude of God toward him was the 
most terrible fact in all that he suffered. 

This i)()si<i()n li(» defended by illustrations. 
Animals do not complain without a cause. 
The wail is always evidence of a want. The 
wild ass does not bray \y\wn he has jjjrass, nor 
the ox low over his fodder. His circumstances 
were like insipid and loathsome food. 

A<i;ain his sorrows seemed to snru;(» upon his 
soul, and he sijubed for (h'alii, because he felt 
that his strenjjjMi was not eciual to the strain 
plac(Ml uj)on him. He defended his desire 
by declarin<»' that death would not be tnmbled 
by an accusin<j^ conscience. Why should he be 
patient? His strenjijth was not the strength of 
stones, nor was his flesh of brass. 

2. His Reply to his Friends 

Conlinuinjj: his answer out of the hot anger 
of pain, and in the belief that his pain justified 
his complaint, he turned upon his friends in 
words that thi'ill with satire and flanu^ in re- 
proach. He had expected kindness, but was 
disappointed. The proof of a friend is kind- 
ness in the hour of distress, even though the 

The Drama 51 

distress is the result of moral failure. In the 
day of calamity his friends had failed him, 
and he illustrated this failure* by the forceful 
figure of the brook which in the day of heat 
evaporates, and leaves the travellers unre- 
freshed. In this figure there would seem to be 
reference not merely to the attitude of Eliphaz, 
but to that attitude as a culminating cruelty. 
His eyes were wandering back to olden days, 
and he spoke of his friends as " my brethren,'* 
likening them to the brook to which he turned 
in days of distress, only to find them failures in 
respect of that refreshment of which he stood 
in such sore need. In an outburst of agonized 
disappointment he declared, 

"... Ye are nothing; 
Ye see a terror, and are afraid." 

This satire became reproach as he suggested 
that their cruelty was the more manifest in 
that he had not asked them for a present, for 
deliverance, or for redemption. Their coming 
had been gratuitous, and their failure to help 
him was consequently the more disappointing. 

Finally the reproach merged into a fierce de- 
mand that instead of generalization and allu- 
sion there should be definiteness in the charges 

52 Job 

made against him. His plea was that they 
should cause him to understand wherein he 
had erred, and he protested against the folly 
of their method in reproving words which were 
the speech of a desperate man. This of course 
was exactly what Eliphaz had done. His 
whole reproof had been the result of the atti- 
tude of mind he had detected in Job as he 
listened to his lamentation. 

He expressed his anger as he poured his 
scorn upon them, declaring that they would 
cast lots upon the fatherless, and make mer- 
chandise of their friend. His last words con- 
cerning his friends were those of a passionate 
plea for justice. 

There is a majesty in the impatience of Job 
with the men who philosophized in the pres- 
ence of agony; and it is impossible to read 
without a consciousness of profound sympathy 
with the suffering man. 

3. His Complaint to Jehovah 

Without waiting for their reply, Job broke 
out into a new lamentation which was more 
bitter than the first. The note of despair is 
deeper, and the daring is greater. This is to 
be accounted for by the fact that it came out 

The Drama 53 

of a heart whose sorrow was aggravated by the 
misunderstanding of friends. Indeed, its very 
strength was a new protest against the only 
open charge which Eliphaz had made, that 
namely, of foolishness in complaining at all. 
In this lamentation there are two movements ; 
first, a complaint concerning the stress and 
misery of life; and secondly, a complaint ad- 
dressed directly to God. 

As to the misery of life, he described its hard 
conditions. Its toil is strenuous, and under 
compulsion. Indeed, it is a warfare. A man 
is a hireling, a servant, whose labour issues 
in nothing. His experience is that of perpetual 
suffering without relief. Even his rest is dis- 
turbed by tossings, and an oppressing con- 
sciousness of the length of the night. That the 
description is personal is proved by his refer- 
ence to the terrible disease from which he was 

Nothing is satisfying, for nothing is lasting ; 
and Job piled figure on figure to emphasize 
this fact; a weaver's shuttle, wind, the glance 
of an eye, the vanishing cloud. There is abso- 
lutely no ray of hope in this outlook on life. 

He therefore proceeded to utter his com- 
plaint, not only concerning the misery of life, 
but directly against God. It is a determined 

54 Job 

complaint. " I will not refrain ... I will 
speak ... I will complain.'' He appealed 
against his suffering on the ground of his 
harmlessness, his littleness, and urged it even 
though it were true that he had sinned. As 
to the first, he inquired whether he w^as a sea- 
monster. As to the second, he declared that 
his days were vanity. As to the third, he sug- 
gested that even if he had sinned, he did not 
harm God. 

How terribly the vision of God was blurred 
in these days of suffering is manifest as he 
cried out that God would let him alone, and 
demanded w^hy he must be tried every moment. 
It is such a cry and complaint as none can 
understand who has not passed into some sor- 
row equally severe. Those tempted to criti- 
cism of the attitude of the man should remem- 
ber that God patiently bore and waited, know- 
ing that at the back of the complaint there was 
an unshaken confidence, even though for a mo- 
ment the surfaces were swept wath hurricanes 
of doubt, blowing up out of the darkness. 

In the lamentation which he had uttered in 
answer to the sympathetic silence of his 
friends there were the evidences of the shak- 
ing of his convictions concerning the dignity 
of his personality, his relation to Deity, and 

The Drama 55 

his sense of the government of God over good 
and evil. 

In this answer to Eliphaz the first is alto- 
gether lost, life is valueless; the second is an 
acute problem, he cannot understand his rela- 
tion to Deity ; the third he seems still to accept 
intellectually, but he is in rebellion against it 
as a tyranny. 

All this is due to the limitation of his knowl- 
edge of God, and the remembrance of this will 
help to explain the method of God with him in 
the ultimate movements of the book. 

c. BILDAD. viii. 

1. God is never unjust. 1-7 

a. The Challenge. 2, 3 

/3. The Application. 4-7 

The Meaning of the Children's Death. 4 

The Meaning of the Divine Silence. 5-7 

2. The Wicked are always punished. 8-19 

a. Appeal to the Past suggested. 8-10 

p. Appeal to the Past made. 11-19 

The Instability of Godlessness. 11-13 

The Uselessness of false Confidence. 14-19 

3. The Principle declared. 20 

4. Hope concerning Job. 21, 22 

The Drama 57 


The speech of Bildad is that of a man who is 
in agreement with the philosophy of Eliphaz. 
There is greater directness in it than in that of 
his friend. By comparison it lacks in courtesy, 
but gains in force. He seems to ignore the 
attack which Job has made upon his friends. 
The inference of Job's reply to Eliphaz was 
that God was unjust in His dealings with him. 
Bildad's address is a protest against this infer- 
ence, and constitutes an illustration of the 
principle which Eliphaz had declared. 

By means of a series of questions he vehe- 
mently uttered his protest against the idea 
that it is possible for God to be unjust; and 
proceeded to make a very direct application 
by assuming that the death of Job's children 
was the result of their transgression, and that 
his own consciousness of the silence of God, 
and all the evil that had befallen him, were the 
result of the fact that he himself lacked purity 
and uprightness. The underlying conviction 
of Bildad that God is never unjust was per- 
fectly true. The declaration of it could bring 
no comfort to Job because, so far as he was 
concerned, his conscience was perfectly clear of 

58 Job 

the charges suggested. The logical sequence 
seemed to be faultless. God is never unjust. 
Suffering results from sin. Job suffers ; there- 
fore Job has sinned. The facts were, Job was 
perfect and upright; Job suffered. To him 
therefore, the argument of Bildad brought no 
relief, but rather aggravation of his, problem. 

In the second movement Bildad attempted 
to emphasize his view by an argument which 
may be summarized in the brief statement; 
The wicked are always punished. He sug- 
gested to Job that he should make his appeal 
to the past, to the testimony of the fathers ; and 
then proceeded himself to make that appeal. 
It is quite probable that the passage which im- 
mediately follows (verses eleven to nineteen) 
is made up of quotations from the writings 
of the fathers, with all of which Job would be 
familiar. They fall into two sections. 

The first declares the instability of godless- 
ness. As the rush cannot grow without mire, 
or the flag without water, so man cannot suc- 
ceed without God. The quick withering of 
rush or flag demonstrates lack of that which 
is essential to development ; so also the calam- 
ity of a man is proof of his forgetfulness of 

The second section declares the uselessness 

The Drama 59 

of false confidence. Nothing in which a man 
trusts, apart from God, is suflacient to secure 
his stability. 

Immediately following this argument by 
quotation Bildad summarized in one brief 
statement the two facts which he had been il- 
lustrating; First, that God is never unjust; 
and secondly, that the wicked are always 
punished — 

" God will not cast away a perfect man, 
Neither will He uphold the evil-doers." 

The address closes with an expression of hope 
concerning Job. 

Thus in the speech of Bildad the same view 
is evident as in that of Eliphaz, namely, that 
God is righteous, and prospers the just and 
punishes evil. No charge was made against 
Job. He was left to make his own deduction 
and application. Nevertheless, in the refer- 
ences to the death of his children, and to his 
own suffering, the method of Bildad ap- 
proaches nearer positive accusation than that 
of Eliphaz. 


ix., X. 

I. Hts Answer to Bildad. 



His Admission. 



His Great Question. 

2h 3 


His Argument. 




His Wisdom. 


His Power. 



5, 6 

Storm and Eclipse. 


Sky and Sea 


Stellar System. 


His Invisibility. 


His Invincibility. 




His Hopelessness. 


Against overwhelming Odds. 


Against the Injustice of the Universe. 


His Helplessness. 


Against God. 


Without a Daysman. 


2. His Appeal to God. 



His Questions. 


Does God delight in what He is doing? 


Is God's Vision faulty? 


Is God afraid that Job will escape Him? 


God has made him. Why does He destroy him? 



His Appeal. 


Against Being and Preservation. 

18, 19 

For a Respite. 

The Drama 61 

d. job's answer 

The reply of Job falls into two parts.. The 
first is an answer to Bildad; and the second 
an appeal to God. 

1. His Ansiver to Bildad 

In replying to Bildad, he first admitted the 
truth of the general proposition ; and then re- 
vealed his problem in a question; proceeding 
to discuss it in the light of his own suffering. 

a. His Admission 

The admission made in the words, 

" Of a truth I know that it is so," 

had reference in all probability to the sum- 
marized and inclusive statement of principle 
contained in the words, 

'* God will not cast away a perfect man, 
Neither will He uphold the evil-doers." 

Job had no quarrel whatever with the view 
of the absolute integrity of God. His difficulty 
lay in another direction, and in the statement 

62 Job 

of his problem he made perfectly clear what 
that difficulty was. 

p. His Great Question 

Admitting the consciousness of God, he 

" How can a man be just with God? " 

Notwithstanding the way in which this pas- 
sage is constantly quoted, it is of the utmost 
importance that we recognize that it was not a 
confession of a sense of guilt on the part of 
Job. The whole reason of the controversy con- 
sisted in the fact that, with perfect and splen- 
did honesty, Job refused to make any such 
confession, because he had no such conviction. 
The real meaning of the question is, How can 
a man prove his justice in contention with 
God? Job was simply overwhelmed with the 
sense of the greatness of God, and declared 
that even if a man might attempt to argue his 
case with God, the legal contest would be un- 
fair, because man could not answer one in a 
thousand of the questions which God could ask. 
As we proceed to consider his defence of 
this position, we shall discover that he him- 
self could not understand his suffering in the 

The Drama 63 

light of his innocence, and his difficulty at the 
moment was that of his conviction of the use- 
lessness of attempting to argue his case with 

y. His Argument 

This supreme difficulty he emphasized in the 
remarkable words which follow, in the first 
movement of which he described the wisdom 
and the greatness of Jehovah, and in the sec- 
ond his own hopelessness and helplessness. 

It is useless for a man to contend with God, 
because of the wisdom of His heart and the 
might of His strength. The question, 

" Who hath hardened himself against Him, 
and prospered?" 

does not suggest the impotence of rebellion, 
but the folly of contention. 

In a passage full of power he then described 
the might of God. In the bitterness of his 
soul his consciousness of that might was that 
of a terrific and overwhelming force, before 
which everything had to bend. This he illus- 
trated by reference to earthquakes and storms, 
to the eclipse of the sun, to the wonders of 

64 Job 

the sky and sea, and to the whole stellar 
system. It is interesting at once to note that 
some of the very illustrations which Job made 
use of in speaking of the strength of God, 
God Himself appealed to later, in the great 
Theophany. For the moment, however, this 
sense of the strength of God brought no com- 
fort to the man, but filled his heart with 
terror, because he saw it set in contrast to his 
own weakness rather than co-operative with it. 

God, moreover, is invisible. His presence 
is an awful fact, but Himself is neither seen 
nor known. 

And yet again. He is invincible. There is 
absolutely no hope of successfully opposing 
such strength, and therefore it is useless for 
any man to attempt to be just, that is, to con- 
tend with Him concerning the problems of his 

Still discussing the problem. Job turned 
from his contemplation of the overwhelming 
greatness of Jehovah to the consideration of 
his own condition; and his hopelessness is at 
once manifest in his declaration that even if 
he had a right of access, he dare not avail 
himself of it. In stating this he spoke from 
the supposition that he was a sinner, grant- 
ing for a moment the conclusion to which his 

The Drama 65 

friends had attempted to force him. But he 
said, that if he were righteous, he could not 
answer; and even affirmed that if having 
called, God had answered him, he could not 
believe that the speech was really an answer 
to his voice. The odds against him he con- 
ceived to be overwhelming. He could not be- 
lieve that God would have patience with him, 
and his very attempt to prove his case before 
God would only issue in condemnation. 

Then suddenly he affirmed his innocence; 
and thus answered the philosophy of Eliphaz 
and Bildad by denying it, when he declared, 

" He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked." 

All the injustice of earth's rule is therefore 
inevitable, and he did not hesitate to describe 
the universe as existing in conditions charac- 
terized by injustice. His argument did in- 
ferentially charge all this upon God, and as 
though he in his turn saw in the faces of his 
friends their recognition of this, he inquired, 

" If it be not He, who then is it? " 

It may safely be asserted that here Job 
touched the lowest level. For a moment at 

e^ Job 

least he appears as a man at war with God. 
While in subsequent argument he will break 
out into lamentations which reveal the intense 
agony through which he passes, over and over 
again out of the depths will come cries 
revealing the deeper and better things of his 

His hopelessness was due to the fact that 
for the time being he had lost a true sense 
of God, and therefore his overwhelming con- 
sciousness was that of helplessness. His days 
swept by him devoid of good. If he should 
attempt to rise and determine on cheerfulness 
he would be afraid of his sorrows, because 
he was convinced that he could not prove his 
innocence before God. 

The final word of his reply to Bildad is 
one standing in close relation to his statement 
of the problem. A man cannot be just with 
God, because God is not a man ; and therefore 
man is unable, at least to his own satisfaction, 
to state his case before God. Out of his 
agony and perturbation he gave expression to 
what is the supreme need of all men in the 

" There is no daysman betwixt us, 
That might lay his hand upon us both." 

The Drama 67 

This cry of an afflicted man out of the depths 
of his own consciousness of need is full of 
force in the light of that Incarnation whereby 
the Daysman was provided Who was able to 
lay His hand on God and on man. 

2. His Appeal to God 

The answer to Bildad now merged into an 
appeal to God. This in itself is a remarkable 
revelation of the underlying strength of this 
man's confidence in God. Notwithstanding 
all that he had said of the impossibility of 
being just with God, of pleading his own cause 
with Him, he proceeded to do it. It is im- 
possible to escape the conviction that his be- 
lief in God and conception of Him were greater 
than he himself knew. Turning from his an- 
swer to Bildad, he poured out his agony as 
in the presence of the Most High; and he did 
this deliberately, and with determination, as 
is evidenced by the thrice-repeated " I will." 
The appeal was by no means a hopeful one, 
but it was nevertheless an appeal. Intellec- 
tually he was convinced of the uselessness of 
attempting to contend with God, but his will 
refused to be the bond-slave of that intellec- 

68 Job 

tual conception, and answered the inspiration 
of his heart. 

^' I will give free course to my complaint ; 
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 
I will say unto God." 

a. His Questions, 

Having thus come to determination, he 
poured out his soul in a series of questions. 
He asked why God should contend with him? 
Did God delight in what He was doing? Was 
God's vision faulty as man's, so that He could 
not really see? Were God's days, and years 
brief, that He was afraid Job might escape 
Him? His last inquiry he argued at length. 
God had made him. Why did He destroy 
him? This thought he carried out in detail, 
describing his creation, and recognizing the 
graciousness of past dealings with him; and 
then the terrible afflictions through which he 
had passed, and his own inability to plead 
his cause. 

These questions throb with pain, and tell 
the story of anguish more forcibly than would 
have been possible in any other way. The 
spectacle is one full of grandeur. It is that 

The Drama 69 

of a man buffeted, broken, bruised; uncon- 
scious of any deflection from the path of recti- 
tude in his own life; overwhelmed pre-emi- 
nently with the problem of the Divine relation 
to his suffering; intellectually convinced that 
he has no ability to argue his case, and yet 
uttering it all in the presence of God. He 
had no praise to offer, no song to sing, but 
even though he did not believe that he could 
prevail, one refuge was left to him. It was 
that of complaining, and he did it to God. 

/?. His Appeal, 

On the basis of these questions and this 
complaint he made an appeal to God. Pro- 
testing against his being and preservation, he 
besought that God would let him alone a little, 
that he might have brief respite ere he passed 
into death. The deepening of his anguish is 
clearly seen in the darkness of his description 
of death. On a previous occasion he had 
thought of death as of a land of rest and cessa- 
tion, but now even that had its terrors for 
him. It is a land of darkness, of thick dark- 
ness, devoid of order; and what he supremely 
craved was some respite ere he passed from 

70 Job 

the oppressing sorrows of life into the dark 
disorder of death. 

If in our contemplation of Job we are 
tempted to criticize him, it is well that we 
should remember that in the whole book God 
lays no charge against His servant. Terrible 
things are these which he uttered concerning 
God, but he was honest. There was no dis- 
simulation, no hypocrisy. 




I. Preliminary Rebuke. 

a. " A man full of talk." 

p. " Thou sayest." 

y. " God exacteth less. . . ." 


2. The Unsearchable God. 


a. Unfathomable. 

p. Universal. 

y. Administrative. 

8, 9 

3. Man's Way of Restoration. 


4. Final Warning. 


The Drama 73 


When Job ceased, Zophar, the last of the 
three friends, answered him. His method was 
characterized by even greater bluntness than 
that of Bildad. Indeed, there is a roughness 
and a directness in what he said not to be 
discovered in the addresses of Eliphaz and 
Bildad. This may be accounted for by the fact 
that Zophar was a man of an entirely different 
temperament, or by the fact that Job had now 
with greater definiteness and daring, denied 
their philosophy by affirming his innocence. 
His address consists of a stern and direct re- 
buke; a passage full of beauty in which he 
declared the unsearchableness of God; an in- 
dication of the way of restoration ; and a final 

1. Preliminary Rebuke 

He first affirmed the necessity for answering 
" the multitude of words,'' by describing Job 
as a man " full of talk,'' or more literally, " a 
man of lips." This was a blunt and almost 
rude description of Job, showing Zophar's con- 
tempt for all he had said ; and he declared that 

74 Job 

his boastings could not silence his friends. 
His charge against him was expressed in the 

" Thou sayest, My doctrine is pure, 
And I am clean in Thine eyes.'' 

While these declarations are not to be found 
in these actual words in the speeches of Job 
already recorded, the spirit of them is found 
in the words used in his reply to Bildad, 

" I am perfect " ; 

and in his appeal to God, 

" Thou knowest that I am not wicked." 

He then expressed the wish that God would 
reveal to Job the secrets of wisdom, and 
affirmed his conviction that if He did, Job 
would discover that all his suffering was less 
than his iniquity. 

2. The Unsearchable God 

Job had affirmed the wisdom of God, and 
yet evidently to the mind of Zophar his whole 
argument had called it in question. There- 
fore in a passage which ranks as one of the 

The Drama ^^5 

finest in the whole book, he reaffirmed the 
wisdom of God, and declared His absolute 
knowledge of men. This wisdom he described 
as unfathomable, so that no man could know 
it unto perfection. Moreover it is universal, 
including the whole creation, which Zophar 
figuratively described as bounded by the 
heavens and by Sheol. Moreover this wisdom 
is administrative, for judgment is based upon 

3. Man's Way of Restoration 

He then declared the way of restoration for 
sinning man to be that of the putting away 
of iniquity, through doing which he would 
escape from suffering and enter into rest. 

4. Final Warning 

The last word is one of warning which 
stands in perfect contrast to the hopeful tone 
of the preceding paragraph. 

This whole speech is practically a restate- 
ment of the same philosophy as that of Eliphaz 
and Bildad. Zophar still argued from the 
suffering of Job to his sin. Nevertheless his 
argument has in it more of consideration and 

76 Job 

tenderness than any of the others, in that while 
he insisted upon the same general idea he did 
admit that Job may not have been conscious 
of his sin. He declared, however, that it must 
be there, and that he should cast himself upon 
the wisdom of God, which knew better than 
he. Zophar said the hardest thing which had 
yet been said in declaring that if he knew his 
sin, he would discover it to be more than his 
suffering. Nevertheless, if he were rough in 
manner, his desire and hope of Job were mani- 
fest; for his description of the prosperity 
which would come if Job set his heart aright, 
is longer, and more full of beauty than that 
either of Eliphaz or Bildad. 

/. JOB'S ANSWER. xii.-xiv. 

1. As to his Friends. A Rebuke. xii. 

o. The Rebuke. i-6 

Satire. i. 2 

Rebuke. 3. 4 

Contempt, S. 6 

p. T/ie Claim of Knowledge. 7-25 

The evident God. 7-'i^2 

In Nature. 7-10 

In Experience. 11, 12 

The working God. 13-25 

The natural World. 13-15 

Those high in Rank. 16-22 

The Nations. 23-25 

2. As to Himself. A Determination. xiii. 1-22 

a. His Intention to appeal to God. 1-3 

/3. His Warning to his Friends. 4-12 

He denounces them. 4, 5 

He impeaches them. 6-1 1 

He dismisses their Arguments. 12 

y. His Preparation for Appeal. 13-22 

His Determination. 13-15 

His Confidence. 16-19 

The Conditions. 20-22 

3. As to God. An Appeal. xiii. 23-xiv. 

' a. What are my Sins? xiii. 23-28 

The Demand. 23-25 

The Dealing of God described. 26-28 

^. Man's Transitory Life. xiv. 1-6 

y. The Endlessness of Man's End. 7-12 

5. The Parenthetical and Hopeful Question. 13-15 

e. The Contrasting Present Condition. 16-22 

The Drama 79 

/. job's answer 

Job's final reply in the first cycle was to 
the whole argument rather than to Zophar's 
application thereof. From beginning to end 
it thrills with sarcasm, as he strenuously main- 
tained his denial of personal guilt. The ad- 
dress falls into three sections, in the first of 
which he dealt with his friends by way of 
rebuke; in the second affirmed his personal 
determination; and in the last made a direct 
appeal to God. 

1. As to his Friends. A Rebuke 

In the first movement Job treated with pro- 
found contempt the interpretation of God 
which the three had attempted; claiming to 
know more of Him than they did. This falls 
into two parts, in the first of which he rebuked 
them, and in the second showed his knowledge 
of God. 


The Rehuke 

His first words revealed his utter contempt 
for them as in biting sarcasm he said, 

80 Job 

" No doubt but ye are the people, 
And wisdom shall die with you," 

and declared that he also had understanding, 
and was in no way inferior to them ; indicating 
that the things they had said were common- 
places, which all men knew. He then evi- 
denced his contempt for them as he described 
their contempt for him. He charged them 
with having made a laughing-stock of him, 
who had had fellowship with God, and was 
just in character. 

p. The Claim of Knowledge 

Turning then to the discussion of the things 
which they had emphasized concerning God, 
he declared that their vaunted knowledge was 
that of things self-evident. The beasts, and 
the fowls of the air, the earth, and the fishes 
were acquainted with these things, and able to 
teach man. It was knowledge of the simplest 
that all these things were the works of God, 
and that He sustained them. Moreover, this 
God is manifestly active in the universe, and 
His wisdom is unquestioned. 

In a passage full of passion and force he 
described the working of God, in the natural 

The Drama 81 

world; among the great men of the earth, 
counsellors and judges, kings and princes, both 
eloquent and governing; and consequently 
amid the nations themselves increasing and 
destroying, uplifting and degrading. 

Up to this point there is no attempt to 
answer the charge which they have formulated 
against him, or to show the falsity of their 
philosophy. Zophar had spoken as though 
their superior knowledge of God had given 
them an advantage over him, and made them, 
sure that the suffering of Job could only be 
accounted for by the fact of sin. The first 
stage in his reply was that of pouring con- 
tempt upon them in view of the fact that he 
also knew God, and claiming that his knowl- 
edge of Him was superior to theirs. 

2. As to Himself, A Determination 

Continuing his answer. Job seems to have 
passed from the overwhelming consciousness 
of the contemptible attitude of these men, to 
that of all their arguments meant to him per- 
sonally; and in the next section he affirmed 
his determination to appeal to God. This he 
first declared as an intention^ then addressed 

82 Job 

himself to his friends once more, finally pre- 
paring himself to make his appeal. 

a. His Intention to appeal to God 

Restating in summarized form that which 
he had argued at length, that his knowledge 
was not inferior to theirs, Job declared that 
he made his appeal from them to God. 

/3. His Warning to his Friends 

His contempt for his friends in their atti- 
tude toward him knew no bounds. Describing 
them as " forgers of lies " and " physicians of 
no value," he proceeded to turn their own 
argument back upon themselves. They had 
declared that God is righteous, and that He 
visits men according to their deeds. They had 
been speaking unrighteously for God, and talk- 
ing deceitfully for Him, and he suggested that 
by so doing they had been respecting His 
person, or, as the margin renders it, showing 
Him favour. 

He then suggested to them whether they 
would care for God to search them out in 
the deepest of their motives, and declared that 

The Drama 83 

they must be prepared to accept His judgment 
upon themselves. 

His impeachment of them was that their 
judgment was warped by partiality for God, 
and he declared that God Himself would refuse 
to accept their defence. 

He dismissed their arguments as being 
utterly worthless when he declared, 

" Your memorable sayings are proverbs of 

The reference here to " memorable sayings " 
was almost certainly to the quotation of the 
sayings of the ancients which had occurred 
in the speech of Bildad, all of which had no 
application to him. The defences of God 
which they had set up he described as " de- 
fences of clay," that is, they were easily broken 
down, and therefore worthless. 

y. His Preparation for Appeal 

Charging them to hold their peace, and to 
let him alone, he announced his determina- 
tion to speak, whatever the issue might be. 
Recognizing the difficulty of his adventure, he 

84 Job 

nevertheless committed himself thereto irrev- 
ocably, especially in the words, 

" Though He slay me, yet will I wait for Him : 
Nevertheless I will maintain my ways before 

Again, notwithstanding the translation of this 
passage with which we are familiar in the 
Authorized Version, and the constant use 
which has been made of it, there can be no 
question that the change is vindicated by the 
whole context. 

In previous addresses he had declared the 
impossibility of being just with God, that is, 
of contending his cause before Him ; and now, 
when about to speak out of his soul in lan- 
guage of direct appeal, he was conscious that 
the issue might be his destruction. Neverthe- 
less, finding no help in his friends, and being 
in extremity, he determined to take every risk, 
and to deal with God Himself. 

Having uttered this word of supreme de- 
termination, he immediately declared that he 
found some comfort in the conviction that the 
godless cannot be heard. He then again 
turned to his friends, and appealed to them 
to listen, that his declaration might be in their 

The Drama 85 

ears. Re-affirming his innocence, he prepared 
himself to die in the attempt he was about to 
make; and then before making his actual ap- 
peal to God, he urged two conditions; first, 
that God would withdraw His hand from him, 
by which he meant to ask, as he had done 
once before, for a respite from affliction; and 
secondly, that He would not make him afraid 
by His terror, that is, by the majesty of His 
appearing. These things being granted, he 
declared that he was ready to maintain his 
cause. Either God should call, and he would 
answer; or he would speak, and God should 

3. As to God. An Appeal 

After these preliminary matters the speech 
of Job became a direct appeal to God. There 
are five distinct movements in it. The first 
asked a declaration of his sins. The second 
described the transitoriness of life, and pleaded 
for pity. The third emphasized the endless- 
ness of death, and affirmed its hopelessness. 
The fourth was parenthetical, and consisted of 
a remarkable question of hope. The fifth 
stood in immediate contrast, as it described 
the sadness of his present condition. 

86 Job 

a, TT/ia^ are my Sins? 

It is evident that. the charges which his 
friends had made against him were causing 
him acute suffering. Having turned from 
them to God, he asked that He would reveal 
to him what his sins really were. In graphic 
and almost terrible language he described 
God's dealing with him as being that of un- 
ceasing affliction. In passing, he seemed to 
admit his consciousness of the iniquities of 
his youth, and the suggestion was evidently 
that in his mind the afflictions which he en- 
dured were far in excess of such iniquities. 
Therefore he asked to know for what sins he 
was thus made to suffer. 

/?. Man's Transitory Life 

He then seemed to take a more general out- 
look. The life of man is ever transitory, and 
full of trouble. This he affirmed should be 
a reason why God should pity him, and allow 
him to work out the brief period of its dura- 
tion in quietness. Here he admitted the un- 
cleanness of human nature, and inquired 
whether it was possible to bring a clean thing 
out of an unclean one. If in this sense the 

The Drama 87 

transitoriness and suffering of man's life re- 
sulted from sin, then he appealed for forbear- 
ance, and argued that man should be permitted 
to finish his days as a hireling. All this shows 
that Job believed that his sufferings were far 
in excess of the ordinary sufferings of hu- 

y. The Endlessness of Man's End 

These thoughts of the brevity of life led 
naturally to a contemplation of its end, and 
there Job saw no ray of light. He declared 
that there is hope for a tree that it will bud 
again, but he detected none for man. Man 
dying is placed in the earth, and none returns 
again as does the tree. Yet even in this dark 
outlook there is an affirmation and a question 
not to be forgotten. 

" Man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? " 

He was contemplating death on the side of 
the physical, and there was no hope as there 
was in the case of a tree. Yet dying meant 
giving up the spirit, and in the presence of 
that thought he was simply agnostic — " Where 
is he?'' 

88 Job 

6, The Parenthetical and Hopeful Question 

This dark outlook on death seems to have 
created in the mind of Job a question of 
wonder and surmise. If it were possible that 
he could be hidden in Sheol, the unknown 
world of departed spirits, and there kept until 
God's wrath were passed; if it were possible 
that in spite of the physical hopelessness of 
death, a man should live; then he declared, 
if these things were so, he would endure 
through all the days of warfare. It is only 
a gleam of light, but it is full of brilliance. 
In the hour of supreme and appalling depres- 
sion, when this man had lost all anchorage 
except that of despairing determination to 
appeal to God, there flamed up, as in a vision, 
another view of life. It faded immediately, 
but the fact that it had shined was in itself 
a wonder and a glory, and had he known it, 
a sure evidence of a deeper truth concerning 
himself and God than even his boasted knowl- 
edge of Him had formulated. 

€. The contrasting Present Condition 

It was but a gleam of light, and quickly 
the contrasting darkness settled again upon 

The Drama 89 

the outlook of the man. There still, to his 
thinking, was God, numbering his steps, and 
declining to declare to him the sin which his 
friends had affirmed to be the reason of his 
suffering. AH the foundations seemed to be 
destroyed, and with them hope. The whole 
answer ended in a wail of despair, in the 
language of utter hopelessness. 

Thus ends the first cycle in the controversy 
between Job and his friends. In the course 
of it these men have with differing emphases 
propounded the one general philosophy that 
God is righteous, and punishes the wicked 
while He blesses the good. They have left 
Job to make the personal application, but they 
have left him no loophole of escape from the 
application which their philosophy suggests. 
They believed that all his suffering was the 
result of his sin, and that its continuity and 
overwhelming nature were due to his stub- 
born refusal to acknowledge it and put it 

To this philosophy Job replied in every case 
by opposing facts to arguments. He consist- 
ently declared that he was not wicked but just, 
and yet he was afflicted. He did not suggest 
any solution of the problem; indeed, his most 
acute suffering was caused by the problem; 

90 Job 

and while refusing to accept their interpreta- 
tion, he was full of agony because he had none 
to suggest in the place of theirs; and at last 
in desperation he made his appeal for inter- 
pretation, from his friends, to God. 

ii. The Second Cycle. xv.-xxi. 


1. A Stern Rebuke of Job. 1-16 

a. Criticism of his Manner. 1-6 

Words as Arguments. 1-3 

Impious Lack of Devotion. 4-6 

/3, Criticism of his Claim to Wisdom. 7-1 1 

Satire answers Satire. 7-10 

The Consolations of God. 11 

V. Criticism of his Attitude toivard God. 12-16 

How dare Man be .against God. 12-14 

God's Holiness. 15, 16 

2. A New Statement of Truth. 17-35 

a. Defence of his Views because of Antiquity. 17-19 

^' The Wicked are in Trouble. 20-35 

Travail and Terror of the Wicked. 20-24 

The Reason. 25-28 

The Punishment. 29-35 

Statement by Illustration. 29-33 

The General Statement. 34, 35 

The Drama 93 

ii. The Second Cycle 

In this cycle the three friends again spoke 
to Job, and were answered by him. All they 
had to say was in exposition and attempted 
application of the same philosophy, but in 
this cycle the emphasis is narrower, and the 
intention more direct. The three speeches in 
different ways affirmed that it is the wicked 
who are afflicted. 


The speech of Eliphaz falls into two parts, 
the first being a stern rebuke of Job; and the 
second a new statement of truth. 

1. A Stern Rebuke of Job 

It is at once evident that Job's answers had 
wounded Eliphaz. He protested against his 
scorn, and resented his assumption of knowl- 
edge. His rebuke was threefold, and consisted 
of a criticism of his manner ; a criticism of his 
claim to wisdom; and a criticism of his atti- 
tude toward God. 

94 Job 

a. Criticism of his Manner 

Eliphaz charged Job with using mere words 
as arguments, and thereby of course asserted 
that he had not replied satisfactorily to the 
argument his friends had advanced. He prac- 
tically affirmed that it was useless to attempt 
to reason by rhetoric. 

That, however, had not been the principal 
defect in his manner, seeing that it had been 
that of unwarranted boldness, characterized 
by absence of reverence in the presence of God. 
In this connection, with greater directness 
than he had employed in his first address, he 
charged Job with sin, declaring that this 
method of rhetoric, and this attitude of irrever- 
ence, resulted from his iniquity. 

fi. Criticism of his Claim to Wisdom, 

In criticizing Job's claim to wisdom Eliphaz 
adopted the manner of Job, and compelled 
satire to answer satire. This will be seen 
clearly by a comparison of the opening words 
of Job's reply to Zophar, with what Eliphaz 
now said. Keplying to Zophar and to the 
whole argument of the first cycle, Job had 

The Drama 95 

" No doubt but ye are the people, 
And wisdom shall die with you." 

Now Eliphaz said: 

" Art thou the first man that was born? 
Or wast thou brought forth before the hills? " 

Stung by the words which had suggested 
that he and his friends were the sole and final 
depository of wisdom, he sarcastically inquired 
whether the origin of wisdom was in the con- 
sciousness of Job, and whether he retained the 
secret for himself. That this was the reason 
of the satire is evident from the personal note 
of the concluding part of the paragraph in 
which it appears. 

Continuing, he inferentially claimed that he 
and his friends had brought to Job the con- 
solations of God, and that he had treated them 
as too small for him. 

y. Criticism of his Attitude toward God 

Finally Eliphaz uttered his supreme criti- 
cism as he returned to deal more fully with 
Job's attitude toward God, to which he had 
already made reference. He inquired how he 
dared turn his spirit against God, seeing that 

96 Job 

man is in nature unclean. This declaration 
as to the unclean nature of man, 

" What is man, that he should be clean? 
And he which is born of a woman, that he 
should be righteous? " 

was in all probability a reference to the ad- 
mission which Job had made in his great 
appeal to God: 

" Who can bring a clean thing out of an 
unclean? Not one/' 

In spite of this admission Job had spoken 
words which proved that his attitude was that 
of antagonism to God. Eliphaz emphasized 
the thought of the uncleanness of man by a 
declaration of the holiness of God, which he 
affirmed to be of such positive degree that 
when tested by comparison it is seen to be 

From the vision of God as so holy, that 
He " putteth no trust in His holy ones '' ; and 
so inherently pure that even the heavens are 
unclean in His sight, he suddenly descended to 
a description of man as abominable and cor- 
rupt. This description is so worded that it 
may have been taken as generic, but there can 

The Drama 97 

be little doubt that Eliphaz intended that Job 
should make application of it to himself. 

2. A New Statement of Truth 

Having thus replied to the attitudes of Job, 
Eliphaz re-stated the truth as he understood 
it, revealing thereby his view of the meaning 
of the affliction of Job. He first argued the 
accuracy of his view from its antiquity; and 
then proceeded to an elaborate statement of 
his conviction that it is the wicked who suffer. 

a. The Antiquity of his Views 

Eliphaz now appealed to Job to hear him, as 
he declared to him things which he himself had 
seen. In a parenthesis he affirmed the perfect 
agreement of what he was about to say with 
that testimony of the fathers upon which Job 
had poured contempt when he desjcribed it as 
" proverbs of ashes.'^ 

/?. The Wicked are in TrOiMe 

This is first stated as a fact, and the travail 
and terror of the wicked are depicted. His 
work becomes the prey of the oppressor, the 

98 Job 

fear of this is ever in his heart, he lives in 
perpetual dread of death, and his way is the 
way of distress and anguish. 

The reason for all this in the experience of 
the wicked is next set forth as being that of 
rebellion against God, in which he persists 
with a daring which is terrible. Apart from 
the fact that these words did not accurately 
describe the experience of Job, they constitute 
a magnificent description of the unutterable 
folly of the man who so rebels. 

" He runneth upon Him with a stiff neck, 
Upon the thick bosses of His bucklers." 

How vividly these words suggest the madness 
of attempting to fight against God ! 

Finally Eliphaz declared the punishment of 
such wickedness, describing it first by a series 
of illustrations, all of which reveal the utter 
madness of sin. The wicked man never reaches 
the goal of his own ambition. The touch of 
death is upon everything. Nothing comes to 

Passing from illustration, he ended in a gen- 
eral statement in which the same truth is de- 

The sharpness of this passage is only de- 

The Drama 99 

tectecl as we notice that the punishment of the 
wicked as Eliphaz stated it, was an exact de- 
scription of the condition into which Job had 

There is a great change in tone between this 
address of Eliphaz and his former one. That 
was characterized by courtesy and tenderness ; 
this by bluntness and almost by brutality. He 
stated his philosophy of life wholly on the 
negative side, and it was impossible for Job 
to misunderstand his meaning. 

b. JOB'S ANSWER. xvL, xvii. 

1. His Scorn for his Friends. xvi. i-s 

a. His Protest. 1-3 

/3. "/ also could . . . but I would not." 4-5 

2. His Picture of his Misery. xvi. 6-17 

o. Neither Silence nor Speech helps. 6 
p. Description alternating between Address to 

God, and Speech concerning Him. 7-16 

y. Affirmation of Innocence. ij 

3. His Appeal. xvi. 18— xvii. g 

a. To Earth. i8 

p. His Hope. 19-21 

y. His Appeal to God. xvi. 22 — xvii. 9 

The Need. xvi. 22— xvii, 2 

The Request. xvii. 3 

' The Argument. 4-8 

Confidence in Innocence. 9 

4. His Despair. xvii. io-i6 

a. r/i^ Fa/^^ Promise. 10-12 

p. T/ie Fac^ 13-16 

The Drama 101 


Job immediately answered, but his answer 
dealt less with the argument suggested than 
did his earlier replies. While the darkness 
was still about him, and in some senses the 
agony of his soul was deepening, it is im- 
possible to read the whole of this reply with- 
out seeing that through the terrible stress he 
was groping after light, even if at the moment 
there seemed to be scarcely a gleam upon his 
pathway. The address falls into four parts; 
his scorn for his friends; his picture of his 
misery ; his appeal ; and his declaration of de- 

1. His Scorn for his Friends 

His first words were those of manifest im- 
patience with his friends. Eliphaz had spoken 
of the consolations of God. Job declared that 
the comfort they brought him was nothing. 
Their philosophy was not new; he had heard 
many such things. Their perplexity was also 
his chief trouble. What provoked Eliphaz to 
answer? He said that he could speak as they 
did, if they were in his place, but declared 

102 Job 

that he would not do so. He would rather 
attempt to strengthen them and to assuage 
their grief. The criticism is a fine piece of 
scorn for the meanness of men who in circum- 
stances of prosperity add to the sorrows of 
such as are in adversity. 

2. Eis Picture of Ms Misery 

Following his outburst of scorn, he poured 
out his soul in a new declaration of his misery. 
Beginning with the hopeless declaration that 
his grief was such that neither speech nor 
silence assuaged or eased it, he proceeded to 
describe it from the standpoint of his convic- 
tion that somehow it was all included in the 
method of God with him. That method he 
described as being relentless, the description 
alternating between address to God and speech 
concerning Him. 

He first declared to God that He had caused 
his suffering, and then that men had added 
to it by their curiosity and their antagonism. 
He next broke out into a passage not directly 
addressed to God, but affirming the truth of 
what he had said to Him, that all his suffer- 
ings were the result of the Divine government 
and activity. This description of his suffering 

The Drama 103 

ended with a new affirmation of his inno- 

In the midst of this description he made a 
declaration which at once arrests the atten- 

" Mine adversary sharpeneth his eyes upon 

The word here is not the same as that which 
is translated Satan, but it very definitely in- 
dicates an enemy. Whether Job so understood 
it may be open to question; but it is quite 
possible to read this section in the light of 
what we know of the preliminary controversy 
in heaven, as though he had seen some faint 
outline of the foe. 

Immediately following the statement re- 
ferred to, he said : 

" God delivereth me to the ungodly." 

He w^as evidently conscious of a definite force 
against him, and of the fact that all that was 
against him was within the government of 
God. In all probability there w^as infinitely 
more than he knew in the things which he said. 

104 Job 

3. His Appeal 

Continuing, Job cried out in distress. He 
first appealed to earth not to cover his blood, 
that cry being a supreme manifestation of his 
conviction that somehow injustice was being 
done to him. At this point it is remarkable 
to see how his faith triumphed over his doubt. 
He immediately declared that even then, in 
the midst of such overwhelming sense of per- 
plexity, he knew that his .witness was in 
heaven. While all his attitude was that of 
one questioning the government of God, the 
failure of his friends to understand him turned 
him back upon God. His only hope was in 
Him, and in words which once again, in the 
light of the Incarnation, are most remarkable, 
he prayed that God would maintain his right 
with God, and with his neighbour. 

He was in the midst of difficulties, mockers 
surrounded him, none of them understood him, 
he had become a byword of the people, among 
the men who were astonished at the vision of 
his sorrow there was no wise man to be found. 

4. His Despair 

Through this unutterable darkness he strug- 
gled toward God's vindication. If that could 

The Drama 105 

not come in the present life, let it come some- 

In all the movement of this remarkable 
answer, it is impossible to escape the convic- 
tion that Job was now beginning to see some 
outlines of truth. Dim and shadowy they cer- 
tainly were, affording no immediate comfort, 
but nevertheless revealing a man whose anchor- 
age in the past had been that of faith in God, 
struggling, and yet unable wholly to escape 
from that anchorage. It is evident that he 
was convinced of the activity of God in his 
sorrows. He had also consciousness of an 
adversary who followed him relentlessly, and 
seemed to tear him pitilessly even as a wild 
beast. In some way which he did not under- 
stand, that adversary was connected with the 
activity of God. There were moments when 
he seemed to charge God with being his adver- 
sary. In others he appeared to be conscious 
of an adversary between himself and God, to 
whom he was given over by consent of God. 
Nevertheless in the deepest of him he knew 
that his one Witness, his only Vindicator must 
be God. His greatest trouble was that He did 
not appear for him. He had cried out, but 
no answer had been vouchsafed. He had a 
hope, but it lacked definiteness. His final word 

106 Job 

was one of despair. He saw no escape from 
death, and yet even here he had regained his 
original thought about death. It would be 

In this answer to Eliphaz there is no clear 
shining of light, but it is easy to believe that 
in after days Job would come to recognize that 
these strivings of the soul, and these passionate 
desires for Divine defence, were in themselves 
gleams of light in the darkness. 

BILDAD. xviii. 

1. Preliminary Rebuke. i-4 

a. For Violence done to the Friends. 2, 3 

p. For Violence attempted on Moral Order. 4 

2. The Punishment of the Wicked. 5-20 

a. The First Things. Light put out. 5-7 
Spiritual Perception. 

The Inner Light and the Outer Light. 
Consequent Blundering. 

^. Progress to Death. 8-14 

Perils. 8-10 

Terrors. 1 1 

Death. 12-14 

y. The Final Things. Extinction as to Earth. 15-20 

3. The Application. 21 

The Drama 109 


Bildad now returned to the charge, and in 
a brief but pointed address graphically de- 
scribed the punishment of the wicked. This 
address falls into three parts; a preliminary 
rebuke ; a description of the punishment of the 
wicked ; and a direct application. 

1. Preliminary Rebuke 

As in the case of Eliphaz, it is perfectly 
evident that Bildad spoke under a sense of 
annoyance. He was wounded at the wrong 
done to himself and his friends. Job had 
commenced his reply to Eliphaz by inquiring, 

*^ Shall vain words have an end? " 
Bildad now inquired, 

" How long will ye lay snares for words? 
Consider, and afterwards we will speak " ; 

thus charging him with unfairness in protest- 
ing against the words uttered, seeing that he 
had not considered them. He declared that 
Job had treated his friends as beasts, and as 

110 Job 

He was angry, moreover, because the vio- 
lence of Job threatened the moral order, and 
he reminded him that the stability of that 
order could not be changed for his sake. 

2. The Punishment of the Wicked 

He then immediately plunged into an elab- 
orate description of the punishment of the 
wicked, intended to emphasize the general 
proposition which Eliphaz had argued, that it 
is the wicked who are punished. 

He first declared the preliminary experience 
of the wicked. It is a graphic description, 
suggestive of overwhelming darkness and its 
necessary results. His light is put out, and 
the spark of his fire does not shine. That 
statement he then repeated in another way. 

" The light shall be dark in his tent, 
And his lamp above him shall be put out." 

That is to say, that the result of wickedness 
is the extinguishing of the inner light, and the 
outer light. The former is described by the 
phrase, " the light of the wicked," and illus- 
trated by that of " the light ... in his tent." 
The latter is described in the phrases, " the 

The Drama 111 

flame of his fire," and " his lamp above him." 
The inevitable issue is that his steps are strait- 
ened and his own counsel distresses him. The 
man who lacks the clear shining of light within 
and without, inevitably blunders. His steps 
are strong but straitened, and his decisions are 
wrong, and he falls. 

Proceeding, Bildad described the pathway 
to death of the man who walks in darkness. 
That pathway is beset with perils which are 
referred to by a variety of figures, " a net," 
" toils," " a gin," " a snare," " a noose," " a 
trap." Lacking the light, how can he escape 
from the perils of the pathway? 

The experience of such a man must be that 
of perpetual terrors. He is conscious of them 
on every side, they chase him at his heels, and 
yet he is unable to avoid them. The inevitab](^ 
issue is that of destruction and death. 

Beyond his death he becomes extinct so far 
as the earth is concerned. His habitation is 
destroyed, his remembrance perishes, he is 
chased out of the world, he leaves behind him 
no children to enter into his inheritance. 

112 Job 

3. The Application 

Finally Bildad affirmed, 

" Surely such are the dwellings of the un- 
And this is the place of him that knoweth 
not God." 

The application was evident. His description 
of the punishment of the wicked was exactly 
that of the sufferings through which Job had 
been passing as to all outward appearances; 
and he declared them to be the circumstances 
of the unrighteous, and of such as were igno- 
rant of God. This then was a definite charge 
against Job. 



I. Preliminary Rebuke. 


a. How long? . . . my sin my own. 


(3. If ye will . . . know it is God's doing. 

5, 6 

2. His pitiable Condition. 


a. Afflicted by God. 


p. Forsaken of Men. 


y. Appeal to Friends. 

21, 22 

3. A Flash of Light. 


tt. Desire for Appeal to the Future. 

23, 24 

p. The Certainty of Vindication. 


The distant Vindicator. 


The personal Certainty. 

26, 27 

4. Final Warning. 

28, 29 

a. The Friends' decision. 


/3. The Warning. 


The Drama 115 


The reply of Job to this terrible accusation 
consists of a preliminary rebuke; a further 
description of his pitiable condition ; a solilo- 
quy flashing with light ; and a warning to his 

1. Preliminary RehuTce 

Evidently stung by the definiteness of the 
charge Bildad made, Job passiontely de- 
manded how long they would vex him, and 
reminded them that if indeed it was true as 
they suggested that he had erred, his error 
remained with himself, thus refusing to admit 
their right of interference. If, however, they 
would persist, then let them remember that 
all his suffering, which they observed, and from 
which they had made their deductions, was the 
act of God. 

2. His pitiable Condition 

He then passed into a most terrible de- 
scription of his condition. He had recognized 
that the conditions described in the speech of 

116 Job 

Bildad as those of the wicked, exactly fitted 
his case. He was hated of men, and aban- 
doned by them. In keeping, however, with his 
declaration that all they saw of affliction in 
him was the work of God, he commenced his 
description of those conditions by a restate- 
ment of that fact. He was afflicted by God, 
he cried for help, but no answer was vouch- 
safed to him. God had dealt with him in the 
utmost severity, which he then described in 
language full of passion. 

This affliction by God had issued in his for- 
saking by men. His brethren, his acquaint- 
ance, his kinsfolk, his familiar friends, his 
visitors, his maids, his servants, his wife, the 
children of his mother, even young children, 
and all his inward friends were against him. 
The list is a tragic and terrible one, showing 
how solitary and desolate this man felt him- 
self to be. As he found no answer in judg- 
ment from God, so he received no reply in pity 
from men. 

Again he broke out into an appeal to these 
men to have compassion on him. Why were 
they not satisfied with his bodily suffering? 
Why did they do what God had done, and 
what He alone had surely right to do, torture 
his mind? 

The Drama 117 

3. A Flash of Light 

Out of the depth of this darkness there broke 
another of those remarkable gleams of light 
which arrest the attention in the study of this 
book. Conscious that in his own day he was 
misjudged and misunderstood, he expressed a 
longing desire that his story might be so 
written as to make its appeal to the future. 
In this cry there was unquestioned evidence 
of the underlying conviction of the man that 
right must ultimately triumph. 

This deep conviction then expressed itself 
in words, the profoundest value of which it 
is certain Job did not himself realize. The 
words of his soliloquy are full of beauty, and 
for those who read them to-day, it is impossible 
not to connect them with the grace and glory 
of the Incarnation. The value of this is by 
no means lost when in considering their place 
in the experience of Job we necessarily attempt 
to discover their first and simplest meaning. 

Job first affirmed his conviction that his 
redeemer lived. The word " redeemer " there 
must be understood to mean vindicator. It is 
a translation of the Hebrew Goel. In the 
Hebrew economy the Goel was the nearest 
blood relation, whose final responsibility was 

118 Job 

that of vindicating the one for whom he acted 
in that capacity, after death. There is no 
question that here the reference of Job was 
to God. He had already expressed his wish 
that it were possible for God to maintain the 
right of a man with God. Now he announced 
his conviction, first that in God he had a living 
Goel, or Vindicator, or Redeemer. 

His confidence then climbed on to a yet 
higher level as he said, 

" He shall stand up at the last upon the earth.'^ 

The phrase, " he shall stand up,'' means as 
witness; "at last,'' means finally; and "upon 
the earth " may be rendered, " on the dust." 
He is certain that somewhere in the future, 
ultimately, the living God would come into 
the midst of earthly conditions, and therein 
prove Himself the Vindicator of Job. 

And yet again, he mounted to a higher level 
still when he declared his assurance that even 
though his flesh should be destroyed, yet from 
it he would see God. 

There is a difficulty of interpretation at this 
point created by the fact to which Dr. David- 
son draws attention, that " the Hebrew 
preposition ' from ' has the same ambiguity as 

The Drama 119 

' from ' in English." The difficulty then is to 
decide whether Job meant that he would see 
God out of his flesh, or apart from his flesh. 
Dr. Davidson makes a quotation from " King 
Lear," where Regan says, 

" Our father, he hath writ, so hath our sister. 
Of difeerences, which I best thought it fit 
To answer from our home." 

He then proceeds to show that the context 
makes it clear that she was writing not at 
home, but away from home; and he believes 
that Job meant to say, my body may be de- 
stroyed, but that cannot prevent me from see- 
ing God ; I shall see Him, but apart from my 
flesh. Controversy in the presence of an ad- 
mitted difficulty would be unwise, but while 
there can be no question as to the accuracy of 
the interpretation of the meaning of the word 
in the passage quoted from Shakespeare, it 
does, nevertheless, remain true that apart 
from the contextual interpretation it might 
have meant exactly the reverse. I personally 
believe that in this instance the opposite is 
the true interpretation. Job declared that 
even though his flesh were destroyed, and as 
he spoke he saw it being destroyed by the 

120 Job 

loathsome disease from which he suffered, he 
would nevertheless yet see God, he himself be- 
ing in the flesh. 

Again we have words, the full significance 
of which Job could by no means have under- 
stood, but which in the light of the Incarna- 
tion are most remarkable. If by the earlier 
declaration he meant, even though he did not 
understand the method, that he believed that 
the living Goel would come into the circum- 
stances of the earth to vindicate him ; he meant 
also that he would be there to look into His 

All the phrases of this soliloquy are the 
terms of the law-court, and he finally declared 
that he should see Him for himself, that is, 
standing on his side as witness. 

Considered simply in the way in which Job 
uttered it, the declaration flashes with light, 
for it affirmed his conviction that sooner or 
later hfs living Kinsman, Redeemer, Vindi- 
cator, Goel, when all men had uttered their 
protest, would speak the final word. The last 
word would not be that of opposing enemies, 
or accusing friends, but that of God in vindi- 

It is impossible for us to read this without 
realizing how these striving convictions were 

The Drama 121 

fulfilled. In the process of time his words 
were written, and at last the Goel stood upon 
the dust, and became the Vindicator. 

4. Final Warning 

With a sudden cry of pain Job returned to 
the consciousness of his affliction. 

" My reins are consumed within me." 

Nevertheless, the strength of the vision abode 
with him, and he warned his friends that see- 
ing that the root of the matter was found in 
him, they had need to be afraid of the sword 
of judgment. 


1. Preliminary Apology. 

a. His Anger acknowledged. 
fi. Its Reason declared. 

2. General Proposition. 

The Brevity of Wickedness. 

3. The Argument. 

a. The Instability of Evil Gains. 

A Loftiness which perishes. 

A Sense of Youth which bends to the Dust. 

A Sweetness which becomes Remorse. 

A Swallowing which ends in Vomiting. 

A Getting without Rejoicing. 
p. The Reason. 

The Gain of Oppression. 

The Acquisition of Avarice. 

The Consequence. 
y. Final Nemesis. 

God pursues him with Instruments of Judgment. 23-25 

Calamity consumes his Treasures. 26a 

The final Fire. 26&-28 

4. The Application. 29 




4, 5 










.0, 21 



The Drama 123 


With evident haste Zophar replied. His 
speech consisted of an apology, a general 
proposition, an argument, and an application. 

1. Preliminary Apology 

The first word " therefore " shows the inti- 
mate relation of all Zophar was about to say 
to the warning which Job had uttered. He 
had heard the reproof, but he was not con- 
vinced. Apologizing in effect for his haste, 
he declared that the spirit of his understand- 
ing prompted his reply. This reply is like that 
of Bildad in its directness, but it is character- 
ized by even greater force, and more terrible 

2. General Proposition 

His outlook, to which he had referred in 
the phrase, " the spirit of my understanding," 
he then stated in the form of a question ad- 
dressed to Job. Appealing to him as to his 
knowledge of the fact, he declared that, 

" The triumphing of the wicked is short. 
And the joy of the godless but for a moment." 

124 Job 

3. The Argument 

While the proposition which Zophar had 
made was that of a general principle which he 
claimed was of perpetual application, it is 
difficult to read this address, introduced as we 
have seen, by the word " therefore," without 
feeling that the phrases, " the triumph '' and 
"the joy," had reference to the exultation 
which had been expressed in the soliloquy of 
Job, and the final warning which he had 
uttered to his friends. 

That becomes more evident as we proceed 
to the examination of the terms in which he 
described such triumph and joy in the process 
of his argument. 

Nevertheless the argument is true to the 
general principle. In the course of it he 
traced the course of an imaginary person who 
is godless, showing by every illustration, and 
in language thrilling with passion, his con- 
viction of the instability of evil gains. There is 
a triumph, but it is short; a loftiness, but 
it perishes. The wicked may climb to the 
heavens and reach to the clouds, but ultimately 
he will perish, chased away as a vision of the 
night, never to be found again. There is a 
mounting up, but it is succeeded by swift van- 

The Drama ' 125 

ishing. There is a sense of youth, but inev- 
itably it bends to the dust. There is a sweet- 
ness, but it issues in the bitterness of remorse. 
There is a swallowing down, but it inevitably 
ends in vomiting. There is a getting, but it 
does not issue in possessing, and therefore is 
devoid of joy. 

Zophar then proceeded to declare the reason 
of all such failure. The wicked man entered 
into his possession by oppression and violence. 
Driven by the restlessness of his avarice, he 
devoured everything, and consequently the 
oppressed inevitably turned upon him in retri- 

The final Nemesis of wickedness is that 
God turns upon the evil man, and pursues him 
with all the instruments of judgment. The 
iron weapon, the bow of brass, darkness re- 
served, and a Divinely kindled fire, combine 
to ensure his destruction. Darkness enwraps 
him. His sin being set in the light of the 
heavens, earth rejects him. 

4. The Application 

The speech ended, as in the case of Bildad, 
with a word of definite application. 

126 Job 

*^ This is the portion of a wicked man from God, 
And the heritage appointed unto him by 

The philosophy is the same, the wicked are 
punished. The statement is briefer, blunter, 
and more passionate. It is perfectly evi- 
dent, however, that throughout the description 
Job has been in mind, but the speaker leaves 
him to make the personal application. Thus 
in this second cycle the proposition made by 
each man with varying emphasis, is that it is 
the wicked who suffer. 



I. Preliminary Appeal. 


a. He asks a Hearing. 

2, 3 

p. He defends his Impatience. 


y. He demands Attention to his Statement of the 


5, 6 

2. The Argument as Answer. 


a. The Wicked are prosperous. 


The Facts. 


In spite of Godlessness. 

14, IS 

Job's Comment. 


/3. Their Philosophy is at fault. 


Punishment not invariable. 

17, 18 

Posterity should not be considered. 


y. They are not wiser than God. 


The Question. 


Contrasted Conditions without Explanation. 


. 3. The Application. 


a. His Recognition of their personal Meaning. 

27, 2% 

p. Their Wisdom learned from others. 


y. Their Conclusions wrong. 


S. Their Comfort vain. 


The Drama 129 

/. job's answer 

Here, as in the first cycle, Job answered 
not merely the speech of Zophar, but the argu- 
ment advanced by the three friends, namely, 
that it is the wicked who are punished. This 
answer falls into three parts: an appeal for 
hearing ; an argument in answer to theirs ; and 
an application of his answer to themselves. 

1. Preliminary Appeal 

Job began by appealing to them to give him 
a diligent hearing, there being a satirical vein 
in his words, " let this be your consolations." 
They had spoken of bringing liim the conso- 
lations of God, and throughout their speeches 
had manifested an irritation which proved that 
they needed comfort. Job suggested to them 
that if they would be patient in their listening 
to him, they might find the consolation they 
needed. If they would so listen, then they 
might mock. Drawing attention to his suffer- 
ing, he thereby defended that impatience 
against which they had uttered their protests, 
and demanded that as they listened, they 
should remember his condition. 

130 Job 

2. The Argument as Answer 

He then proceeded in detail and with force 
to set over against their statement and illus- 
trations the fact patent to all, that the wicked 
are often prosperous. Their proposition it 
must be remembered throughout this second 
cycle had been that the wicked are punished. 
To this Job replied by saying the wicked are 
not always punished. The prosperity of the 
wicked he described in detail. Their pros- 
perity is personal. They " live . . . become 
old . . . wax mighty.'^ It is continued to 
their children who are established before their 
eyes. It is manifest in their possessions. 
Their houses are safe, and their industry is 
rewarded. The increase of their prosperity 
is marked. It is seen in their habits, in the 
gladness and dancing of their children, and 
in the general circumstances of rejoicing. It 
is evident in their death, for not through long 
continued suffering, but " in a moment they 
go down to Sheol." 

Proceeding, he declared that all this was 
true in spite of their godlessness. They had 
exiled God from their lives, having no desire 
for the knowledge of His ways. They had 
denied the benefit of prayer. 

The Drama 131 

Moreover, he declared his conviction that 
their prosperity was not due to themselves, 
his inference being that God had bestowed it 
upon them ; and therefore He had not punished 
the wicked invariably, as his friends had de- 
clared that He did. 

This first part of his answer Job ended by 
declaring that the counsel of the wicked was 
far from him, that is, that he had not learned 
the secret of their prosperity. Here lay the 
problem which caused his acutest suffering. 
Had it been true as his friends affirmed, that 
the wicked are always punished, then their 
argument would have been more forceful. It 
was not true, hence his refusal to admit its 
accuracy, and hence also his own profoundest 

Continuing his argument, he stated the in- 
evitable deduction by declaring their philoso- 
phy to be wholly at fault. He inquired how 
often the lamp of the wicked was put out, 
how often their calamity came upon them, how 
often God distributed sorrows in His anger, 
how often they were as stubble before the 
wind, and as chaff before the storm? 

Surmising that they might reply that the 
judgment inevitably fell upon their children, 
if not upon the sinning men, he repudiated 

132 Job 

such a suggestion bj declaring that the man 
who sins is the man who should be punished; 
and in the form of a question revealing his 
personal conviction that God has no pleasure 
In the punishment of posterity. 

They had been attempting to teach God 
knowledge, for it was perfectly evident that 
the rule they had enunciated did not always 
apply. In illustration of this he instanced 
a contrast between one dying in the midst of 
comfort, and another in the midst of suffering, 
the manner of their death being without ex- 
planation. Thus successfully he disposed of 
their argument as he showed that it did not 
always hold good, and therefore might have 
no application in his case. 

3. The Application 

Job ended his answer by addressing himself 
to his friends more personally. He declared 
that he knew their meaning when they 

" Where is the house of the prince? 
And where is the tent wherein the wicked 
dwelt? " 

The Drama 133 

He was perfectly aware that they were re- 
ferring to him, although they had sedulously 
avoided saying so in so many words. 

Then, with a touch of satire he declared that 
they had learned their philosophy from travel- 
lers. Their speech was the careless speech 
of casual and superficial observation, and 
their wisdom was the result of converse 
with those who were satisfied with gener- 

Their conclusions were wrong. The wicked 
man is not always reserved to the day of 
calamity. He is carried to the grave, and he 
goes down into it in peace and in popularity. 
Therefore their comfort was vain, because the 
things they had uttered were not true. 

Thus ends the second cycle, in which the 
friends of Job, still convinced that the cause 
of his suffering is sin, have united in their 
declaration that it is the wicked who are 
aflflLicted. By this narrower statement 
they intended to leave him less room for 

As a matter of fact it was far easier for 
him to reply in this case than in the former. 
Over against their declaration, he affirmed that 
the righteous also are afflicted, and that the 
wicked are not always afflicted, and so made 

134 Job 

it evident that their argument had by no means 
left him without a way of escape. Moreover, 
he sternly rebuked them for stating one side 
only, in order to bring about his discomfiture. 

iii. The Third Cycle. xxii.-xxxi. 

a. ELIPHAZ. xxii. 

1. The Charge Made. 1-20 

a. God only afflicts for Sin. 1-5 
God is not affected in Himself by what man is. 2-3 

His Judgment therefore is Impartial. 4-5 
Deduction. Job has Sinned. 

^. The Sins which fit the Punishment. 6-1 1 

Sins described. 69 

The Deduction. 10, 11 

y. Job's Misconception of God, the Reason. 12-20 

God's Height construed as Indifference. 12-14 
This View has ended in Destruction before. 15-180 
Over which Destruction the Righteous 

rejoice. 18&-20 

2. The Advice Given. 21-30 

a. Stated. 21 

/3. The Conditions. 22-25 

y. The Issue. 26-30 
With God— Delight. 

With Man — Ability to help. 

The Drama 137 

iii. The Third Cycle 

In the third and last cycle of the controversy 
between Job and his friends, Eliphaz and 
Bildad each spoke, and Job answered them. 
After a pause Job made his final answer to 
the whole argument. 

Again the speeches of Eliphaz and Bildad 
proceeded upon the assumption that suffering 
must be the outcome of personal sin, only in 
this final statement they definitely declared 
that Job had sinned and therefore suffered. 


The speech of Eliphaz falls into two parts ; 
in the first he definitely charged Job with 
sin; and in the second tendered the advice 
which seemed to fit the need. 

1. The Charge Made 

Eliphaz approached his charge by a series 
of questions in which he practically declared 
first, that God is not affected in Himself by 
what man is. He is not profited by man^s 
wisdom, nor does He gain by man's righteous- 
ness ; consequently His judgment is necessarily 

138 Job 

impartial; that it is inconceivable that God 
punishes a man for his goodness. The deduc- 
tion is self-evident, that Job's wickedness must 
be great, and that there can be no end to his 

He then proceeded to declare the sins which, 
according- to his philosophy, would naturally 
account for the suffering through which Job 
had passed. They 'are the most dastardly sins 
possible to a man of wealth and position ; those 
of the spoliation of the poor, in that he had 
taken pledges for naught, and stripped the 
naked of clothing; of the neglect of the starv- 
ing, seeing that he had withheld water and 
bread; and the oppression of the helpless. 
Again the deduction was inevitable. All the 
suffering of Job, the snares surrounding him, 
the fear troubling him, the darkness envelop- 
ing him, the floods covering him, proved the 
heinousness of the sins of which he had been 

Finally, by adroit quotations of some of the 
things which Job had said, Eliphaz attempted 
to account for the sins which he had com- 
mitted. They had been the outcome of his 
misconception of God. He had thought of 
Him as One in the height, withholding Him- 
self from interference in the affairs of men. 

The Drama 139 

In consequence of this view he had walked in 
the way of wicked men, which way had ended 
in destruction. Consequently he had shared 
their punishment, a punishment in which the 
righteous rejoice, because they recognize it as 
being a just recompense for sins committed. 

2. The Advice Given 

In this charge Eliphaz made his great and 
final mistake. Without proof, save such as he 
was able to deduce from his own reasoning, he 
had charged Job definitely with the most terri- 
ble and dastardly crimes. Had his deductions 
been correct, the advice which he gave would 
indeed have been the highest and the best. In 
considering it we must understand that it had 
no application to Job, seeing that he had not 
been guilty of these sins. 

Remembering this, we may yet ponder it in 
separation from its application to Job, and in 
so doing its beauty is discovered. What man 
supremely needs in order himself to be blessed, 
and to be made a blessing is the knowledge of 
God. The conditions upon which he may 
come to such knowledge are declared, and the 
issues resulting therefrom stated. 

140 Job 

His advice was given first in general and 
inclusive words: 

"Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at 
peace : 
Thereby good shall come unto thee." 

He then declared how it was possible to obey 
that advice. The law must be received ; there 
must be a return to righteousness by the 
putting away of unrighteousness; all human 
treasure must be abandoned as worthless. 

When these conditions are fulfilled, instead 
of the lost treasure there will be the possession 
of the Almighty. In Him there will be de- 
light, with Him communion, and through Him 
triumph over all opposing circumstances ; and 
the ultimate result will be that of ability to 
deliver others. 

b. JOB'S ANSWER. xxiii., xxiv. 

I. '"' '^ " 


t^ Froblem of Gods Absence frc 





The Sigh after God as Judge. 
Vindication of his Complaint. 
Desire for the Judgment-seat. 
Fruitless Search. 



8, 9 


Faith's Tenacity. 
Its Affirmation. 
Conscious Integrity. 



II, 12 


Fear's Trembling. 
The Persistence of God. 
The consequent Fear. 
The Darkness is not the Cause. 


13, 14 

15, 16 



te Problem of God's Non-interference. 



The Complaint. 



The Argument. 
Oppression is permitted. 

The Facts of Oppression. 



2- 1 2a 

The Fact of God's Non-interference. 

12&, 13 

Evil goes unpunished. 


Description of evil Men. 


Their Punishment according 




osophy of his Friends. 


The Facts concerning them. 

23, 24 


The Challenge. 


The Drama 143 

l. job's answer 

In the immediate reply of Job to Eliphaz, 
he ignored the terrible charge made against 
him, postponing his dealing with that to a 
later speech. He rather discussed Eliphaz' 
conception of his view of God as absent from 
the affairs of men ; and boldly affirmed his con- 
sciousness of the problem. The speech falls 
into two parts, in the first of which he dis- 
cussed the problem of God's absence from him ; 
and in the second the problem of God's non- 
interference in the affairs of the larger world. 

1. The Problem of God's Absence from him 

As to his own case, he admitted that his 
complaint was bitter, but he vindicated him- 
self by affirming that the suffering he endured 
was greater than the complaint he made. 

Eliphaz had said, 

" Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at 

To that Job replied in a great sigh, 

" Oh that I knew where I might find Him ! '^ 

144 Job 

This sigh after God was the expression of a 
desire for His judgment seat. It was a return 
to the attitude which he had taken up in the 
earlier movements. He declared that if he 
could but find that seat of judgment, he knew 
how God would deal with him. He would 
not contend with him in the greatness of His 
power, but would give heed to him, and so he 
would find deliverance. 

But he declared his inability to find Him, 
though he go forward and backward. He was 
conscious of His presence, but he could not see 

Suddenly there flamed out in the midst of 
his complaint words which afford the most 
remarkable evidence of the tenacity of his 
faith. His conclusion concerning God was not 
that which Eliphaz had insinuated. He was 
certain that God knew the way he took, and 
even affirmed his confidence that eventually, 
his trial being accomplished, he would come 
forth as gold. 

This affirmation he based upon his integ- 
rity, declaring that he had been loyal to God. 
Eliphaz had charged him to receive the law 
and to lay up the words of God in his heart. 
He replied that he had not gone back from 
the commandment of His lips, and had treas- 

The Drama 145 

ured up the words of His mouth more than his 
necessary food. 

Then the affirmation of faith merged into an 
admission of fear. Whatever God was doing, 
Job could not persuade Him to desist. There- 
fore he was filled with fear. Conscious of the 
definite Presence, the fact troubled him. He 
was afraid of God, because he believed that his 
suffering was the result of His activity, and 
He did not appear to deliver him. 

2. The Problem of Ood/s Non-interference 

Passing from the personal aspect of his prob- 
lem. Job considered it in its wider application. 
He demanded the reason of God's non-inter- 
ference, and why He hid Himself from those 
who knew Him. 

He then proceeded to describe the evidence 
of this indifference of God. In a long passage 
he declared that oppression is still permitted. 
Men exist whose whole activity is that of op- 
pression. In graphic language he described 
the spoliation of the poor, the neglect of the 
starving, and the oppression^ of the helpless — 
that is to say. Job declared that the things 
which Eliphaz attributed to him, were all pres- 

146 Job 

ent in the world, and he described them in far 
greater detail than had Eliphaz, ending his de- 
scription with the declaration, 

" Yet God imputeth it not for folly." 

This was a direct answer to the philosophy 
of Eliphaz, and an inferred answer to the 
charge made against himself. Eliphaz had 
argued that these were the sins which could 
alone account for his suffering. Job replied 
that these sins abounded in the world, and 
God did not interfere. 

Continuing, he declared in yet fuller detail 
that the worst forms of evil went unpunished. 
The murderer, the adulterer, and the robber, 
all continued their evil courses with impunity. 
While it was true that eventually they passed 
and died, yet for the time being they were in 

Thus Job admitted in some sense the ac- 
curacy of Eliphaz' declaration concerning his 
view of God as absent from the affairs of men ; 
but he treated with silent scorn the imputation 
cast upon him of acting upon that view in the 
way suggested by Eliphaz, that namely of 
sinning against men in spoliation and neglect 
and oppression. He ended his speech by chal- 

The Drama 147 

lenging them to deny the truth of what he had 
said, and so to deny the accuracy of his con- 
tention of God's absence and non-interference 
with the ways of wickedness. 

c. BILDAD. jcxv. 

1. Man in View of God's Government. a-4 

a. The Government of God. 2, 3 

Essential. 20 

Active. 2&, 3a 

Universal. 3 

p. Man's Helplessness. 4 

2. Man in View of God's Glory. S» * 

a. 7'/tg Glories of Nature. 

p. The Abasement of Man. 6 

The Drama 149 


In this section of the third cycle nothing is 
contributed on either side to the process of the 
argument. Bildad's speech is characterized 
by its brevity, and by the fact that he did not 
attempt to argue the matter with Job. It is 
a manifest weakening in the controversy on the 
side of the friends. Bildad was unable to 
answer Job's appeal to the facts of experience, 
but was nevertheless not convinced of his in- 
tegrity. His brief speech was intended to be 
a declaration of the absurdity of Job's desire 
to argue his case before God. It falls into two 
parts, the first of which deals with man in 
view of God's government; and the second, 
man in view of God's glory. 

1. Man in View of God's Government 

Bildad affirmed the essential government of 
God in the declaration, 

" Dominion and fear are with Him.'' 

He then proceeded to declare that govern- 
ment to be active, and suggested its universal- 
ity in the inquiry. 

150 Job 

" Upon whom doth not His light arise? " 

In the presence of this greatness how is it 
possible that a man can be just with God? — 
that is, prove the fact that he is just. This had 
been Job's inquiry, but he had intended to 
demonstrate the impossibility of contending 
with God. Bildad meant that it was impos- 
sible to contend with God, because of man's 
essential sin, and he declared his conviction of 
that sin in the inquiry, 

" How can a man be clean that is born of a 

2. Man in View of God's Glory 

In the presence of the glory of One before 
Whom the moon lacks brightness, and the stars 
are impure, how can a man who is but a worm 
be just or clean? 

Bildad's thought of God was true so far as it 
went. His thought of man was faulty in that 
he suggested that he was less than moon and 

The force of the speech is identical with 
that of Eliphaz. To Bildad it was unthinkable 
that Job could be innocent. Without argu- 
ment he yet made it perfectly clear that in his 
mind the guilt of Job was established. 



I. Scorn for Bildad. 


tt. His Satire on Bildad's Inability to help. 

2, 3 

p. His two Demands. 


2. His Knowledge of God's Greatness. 


a. Some Manifestations. 


The Underworld. 

S, 6 

The Earth. 


The Firmament. 


fi. The Hidden Greatness. 


The Drama 153 

d. job's answer 

Job's answer was first a declaration of con- 
tempt for the men whose arguments had 
ceased; and secondly an affirmation that he 
was perfectly familiar with the greatness of 
God. Thus by silence he declined to withdraw 
anything he had said. 

1. Scorn for Bildad 

In a series of fierce exclamations Job re- 
vealed the impotence of all that his friends had 
said to help him in any way. Granted that 
Job was all that they had imagined, without 
power, without strength, without wisdom ; how 
far had Bildad helped, saved, or counselled 
him? He challenged him, 

^' To whom hast thou uttered words?" 

and the inquiry would seem to indicate his 
keen sense of the weakness of Bildad's posi- 
tion. It was that he did not understand man, 
as was evident in his suggestion that he was 
less than the moon and the stars. This ig- 
norance led to Job's second question, 

" Whose spirit came forth from thee? " 

154 Job 

by which he meant to infer that Bildad had 
not spoken under Divine guidance, but as the 
result of his own imperfect understanding. 

2. His Knowledge of God/s Greatness 

In order to reveal the poverty of Bildad's 
argument, Job proceeded to speak of the great- 
ness of God, thereby showing that he knew it 
even more perfectly than did his friends. 

He first declared his conviction that the 
power of God is exercised in the under world ; 
the " shades tremble," the grave " is naked," 
" Abaddon hath no covering." 

Moreover the whole material fabric is up- 
held simply by His power. The north, or polar 
centre is placed by God, and 

" He hangeth the earth upon nothing." 

Lifting his eyes from the earth to the sur- 
rounding firmament, he declared that also in 
its entirety to be held in the power of God. 
The mysteries of controlled waters, and light, 
and darkness, are within the sphere of His 
government. The sweeping storm, and its dis- 
appearance, are alike the result of His power 
and His Spirit. 

The Drama 155 

Having thus in almost overwhelming poetic 
beauty suggested his consciousness of the 
greatness and the government of God, he ended 
by declaring that all these things are but 
" the outskirts of His ways " ; and that after 
all, everything of which man is conscious is 
but a whisper of Him. The thunder of His 
power is most evidently beyond human com- 

Thus Job declared that all his friends' 
knowledge of God he himself possessed. These 
things were not the greatest, and did not cause 
his disquiet. 

The answer was a fitting one to the speech of 
Bildad. As we have seen, neither speech nor 
answer contributed anything new to the argu- 
ment. Bildad had nothing more to say, and 
contented himself with the general comparison 
between the greatness of God, and the little- 
ness of man. Job replied with scorn, and the 
affirmation of his own clear understanding of 
the greatness of God. 


I. A Taunt in Answer to the Silence. 

a. His Protestation of Innocence. 
The Form of the Protest. 
The Parenthesis. 
The Protest. 
p. His Taunting of His Friends. 
A Proposition. 
The Admission. 

The Admission made. 
Their View emphasized. 










II, 12 


* I have adhered to the arrangement which makes the whole 
of this the final speech of Job. Dr. Moulton, Dr. Bullinger, and 
others attribute part of this to Zophar. Dr. Driver, on the other 
hand, adheres to the Bible arrangement. P"or a discussion of the 
differing views readers are referred to the respective authors, as 
such discussion is not within the scope of my purpose in " The 
Analyzed Bible." I may say that my adherence to this arrange- 
ment is deliberate, and after careful consideration of the argu- 
ments on either side. 

The Drama 157 

e. job's final answer 

The consideration of this final answer of 
Job to the arguments of his friends will be 
greatly facilitated if the reader carefully 
observes the pauses indicated in the analysis. 
The first is placed at the commencement. 
The suggestion is that after answ ering Bildad, 
Job waited for Zophar. The second is placed 
immediately following the passage in which 
he taunted his friends, and before the sublime 
meditation in view of the whole problem. The 
third is placed between that meditation and 
a passage in which Job surveyed the whole 
experience through which he had passed, and 
made a deduction of result therefrom. The 
last is placed between that survey and deduc- 
tion, and the formal and legal oath of inno- 
cence with which he closed his reply. 

It will thus be seen that the final reply falls 
into the four parts as indicated, a taunt in 
answer to the silence; a meditation in view 
of the whole problem; a survey and de- 
duction; a solemn oath of innocence. 

1. A Taunt in Answer to the Silence 

The first section of Job's reply falls into two 

158 Job 

parts, his protestation of innocence, and his 
taunting of his friends. 

a. His Protestation of Innocence 

The protestation of innocence is a direct 
reply to the charge which Eliphaz made. It 
will be remembered that in the immediate 
reply of Job to Eliphaz he ignored the charge, 
discussing Eliphaz' conception of his view of 
God. Now with great deliberation and with 
marked emphasis, he denied the charge. The 
form of his protest is to be carefully noted. 
The words, " As God liveth," constitute an 
oath in which he afl&rmed his belief in God, 
while he repeated his complaint that God had 
taken away his right, and vexed his soul. He 
then solemnly refused to move from the posi- 
tion he had occupied throughout the contro- 
versy. For him to make confession of sin 
would be for his tongue to utter deceit. He 
declined to justify them by admitting sin. He 
had been righteous, and he resolutely re- 
affirmed that fact, declaring that he would not 
yield that claim. 

In the midst of this protestation, words 
occur in a parenthesis, which must not be 

The Drama 159 

" For my life is yet whole in me, 
And the Spirit of God is in my nostrils." 

In these words there is evidence that he had 
regained some measure of lost ground; for 
they constitute an affirmation of personality, 
and a recognition of relation to God, each of 
which was patent in the earliest movements of 
the book, and weakened through the processes 
of his trial. 

/?. His Taunting of his Friends 

From this protestation the answer of Job 
proceeded in terms of anger. He first made 
a proposition to them that they should put 
themselves in the place of the wicked, that is, 
that they should attempt to enter into the real 
consciousness of unrighteous men. Presuming 
that they were following his argument, he 
then demanded what the hope of the wicked 
would be, in spite of his gain, when God took 
away his soul. He then asked whether, in the 
day of trouble, God would hear the cry of the 
wicked, by which he meant, not would God 
answer the prayer of the wicked; but would 
the wicked pray, is it probable that God would 
hear a wicked man pray? Again, would a 

160 Job 

wicked man delight himself in the Almighty, 
and call upon Him at all times? 

Thus Job suggested the difference between 
himself and the wicked. He had prayed, he 
did delight himself in God, and his passionate 
plea had ever had reference to his desire to find 
God, that he might call upon Him. 

Next, for the sake of argument, he made an 
admission of the truth of their philosophy, so 
far as it went, quoting from Zophar, 

" This is the portion of a wicked man with God, 
And the heritage of oppressors, which they 
receive from the Almighty" (Cf. xxvii. 
13, and xx. 29). 

This statement of Zophar, Job elaborated in 
a passage which might very well have fallen 
from the lips of his friends, so completely does 
it express their views. This admission, how- 
ever, must be interpreted in the light of his 
proposition that they put themselves in the 
place of the wicked. All they had said about 
the punishment of the wicked was certainly 
true. The godless are punished ; but then they 
are godless, they do not pray, they do not de- 
light in God. He, on the other hand, does 
pray, and does delight in God ; therefore there 
is no application of their argument to him. 

The Drama 161 

His proposition that they put themselves in 
the place of the wicked is really of the nature 
of an imprecation, wherein Job expressed his 
desire that his enemy might be as the wicked ; 
and in the process of his argument the deepest 
conviction of his soul seemed to rise, in spite 
of himself; and it was in direct contradiction 
to the complaints which he had made, of the 
withdrawal of God from interference in the 
affairs of men. Summoning all the strength 
of his faith, he declared that he would teach 
them concerning the nature of God, and he 
practically took hold of all that they had said 
about God's visitation of the wicked, and 
hurled it back upon them as an anathema. He 
admitted the truth of their philosophy. He 
denied its application to himself. He thus 
left the whole problem where it was, full of 
mystery. All the things they had said were 
true, but they were not true of him. There 
must be some other way to account for his 

These arguments as here stated are not de- 
clared, but they are of plain inference from 
this angry retort upon his foes. 

2. A Meditation in View of the whole Problem. 

a. A Background of Illustration. The Mine. 

A Place. 

A Process. 
p. The Foreground of Declaration. 

The Fifst Question. 

The First Answer. 

The Second Question. 

The Second Answer. 
God understandeth. 
Man's Answer. 





, 2 














The Drama 163 

2. A Meditation in View of the whole Problem 

The whole tone of the reply now changed 
from the passionate vehemence of the denial of 
the charge of Eliphaz, into calm and medita- 
tive quietness. This suggests a pause. The 
silence was dramatic and full of effect. Job 
now discussed the whole question of wisdom, 
and the placing of this lends force to the view 
expressed in our consideration of the previous 
passage. What his friends supremely lacked 
in their dealing with him was wisdom to under- 
stand. He now declared the difficulty of ob- 
taining wisdom, and the movement falls into 
two parts; a background of illustration; and 
a foreground of declaration. 

a. A Background of Illustration. The Mine 

By way of illustration, and as an introduc- 
tion to his main argument, Job described man^s 
ability to possess the precious things of the 
earth. Silver, gold, iron, and brass — all of 
them find a place, but they can be obtained 
only by labour. 

His description of how man accomplishes 
this is full of beauty. He sinks a shaft, and 

164 Job 

puts an end to darkness as he passes into the 
midst of the earth. In the process of his opera- 
tion he is forgotten by men who pass by. In 
a path that no bird knows, the precious things 
are found. The beasts are unacquainted with 
it ; but man overturning the roots of the moun- 
tains, cuts out channels, and sees the precious 
things. The whole passage is a poetic descrip- 
tion of the miner at his work. 

/5. The Foreground of Declaration 

Having thus described man's marvellous 
ability to do in the material realm the most 
difficult things. Job then proceeded to declare 
that it was a still more difficult thing to find 
wisdom. This he argued by asking two ques- 
tions, and giving two answers. 

His first question was, 

" But where shall wisdom be found? 
And where is the place of understanding? " 

His answer affirmed that the value of wis- 
dom is beyond the power of computation, 
neither can its place be found in the land of 
the living. Wisdom has no market value. 
Man can find the precious things of the ma- 
terial earth, gold, and silver, and precious 

The Drama 165 

stones; but these are of no value in compari- 
son with wisdom, which he is unable to 

His second question is identical with the 
first, though expressed in slightly different 

" Whence then cometh wisdom? 
And where is the place of understanding?" 

In reply he declared that it must be ad- 
mitted that wisdom is hidden from life and 
from death. This admission prepared the way 
for his great declaration, 

" God understandeth the way thereof. 
And He knoweth the place thereof." 

The evidences of the truth of this declaration 
may be found in the observation of the impos- 
sible things which God does. He " looketh to 
the ends of the earth " ; He makes " a weight 
for the wind " ; He measures the waters ; He 
makes " a decree for the rain " ; He " makes a 
way for the lightning and the thunder." In 
all these things He manifests the fact that He 
both sees the place of wisdom, and knows it 

Finally Job announced what wisdom truly 

166 Job 

is in the case of man. It is " the fear of the 
Lord," and " to depart from evil." 

All this meditation flashes its light back 
upon the controversy. It is practically an ad- 
mission that both he and his friends are at a 
loss in the presence of the problem of his suf- 
fering. Yet it is an affirmation of that faith 
which over and over again proclaiming its con- 
sciousness of mystery, yet held fast to God. 
For them and for him the only wisdom is the 
fear of the Lord, and to depart from evil. 

There is in this position virtually a new 
declaration of his innocence, and a charge 
against them. In their attempt to interpret 
the dealing of God there had been departure 
from His fear. 

It is impossible to read this without a con- 
sciousness taking possession of the soul that a 
self-satisfied interpretation of the ways of God 
may have less of reverence in it than an honest 
expression of inability to explain the mystery 
of His government. 

In this meditation, moreover, there is evi- 
dence of at least a gleam of light in the con- 
sciousness of Job. He had feared the Lord, he 
had departed from evil; therefore wisdom 
ought to yield her secret to him. 


)>urvey and a Deduction. 

xxix., XXX. 

Memory of Past Prosperity. 












The Secret declared. 




Administration of Justice. 


The Consciousness described. 





19, 20 

The Dignity remembered. 



21, 22 


23, 24 



The Present Condition by Contrast. 

xxx. 1-23 

The Base contemn him. 


The Consciousness. 


The Reason of it. 


The Description. 


Justification of his Complaining. 




Urged by his own past Action. 


The Complaint made. 


The Drama 169 

3. A Survey and a Deduction 

'Again the tone changes. After an evident 
pause, Job broke out into a passage in which 
he surveyed his life's experiences, and thereby 
justified his complaining. Job was still with- 
out a solution. That of his friends he utterly 
repudiated. In order to prepare the way for 
the utterance of a solemn oath of innocence, he 
first looked back to the days of his prosperity ; 
then described his present condition by con- 
trast; and finally uttered the justification of 
his complaining. 

a. Memory of Past Prosperity 

His description of the past was introduced 
by a sigh, 

" Oh that I were as in the months of old." 

That at which he was looking back he first 
described in its relation to God. The old days 
were days of fellowship in which he was con- 
scious of the Divine care and illumination and 
Then in one sentence which has in it the sob 

170 Job 

of a great heart-agony he referred to his chil- 

" My children were about me.'' 

He next referred to the abounding pros- 
perity of the old days, and finally to the esti- 
mate in which he was held by all classes of 
men. He held the highest place of honour; 
young and old treated him with respect ; those 
in highest ofl&cial positions recognized his 
greatness, and did him honour. 

The secret of that esteem he then declared 
to have been his attitude toward men. He was 
a friend of all such as were in need. Clothed 
in righteousness, and crowned with justice, he 
had administered the affairs of men so as to 
punish the oppressor and relieve the oppressed. 

He then described his consciousness in those 
days. It was that of abounding hopefulness, 
based upon a sense of safety and of strength. 

Finally he returned to a contemplation of 
the dignity of his position when men listened 
to him and waited on him ; reposing confidence 
in him while he was as a king amongst them, 
and that in the truest sense of comforting the 

This backward look, describing as it did the 

The Drama 171 

benevolence and generosity which had char- 
acterized the days of his prosperity, was a dis- 
tinct denial of the charges which Eliphaz had 
made against him, of the spoliation of the poor, 
the neglect of the starving, and the oppression 
of the helpless. 

13. The Present Condition by Contrast 

Job immediately passed to the description 
of his present condition, which description is 
made more vivid by thus being placed in con- 
trast with what he had said concerning his 

He first described the base who now held 
him in contempt. In the commencement of the 
third cycle when answering Eliphaz he had 
described evil men, and his complaint was that 
God did not interfere with the activities of 
such. This description of the base men w^ho 
held him in contempt exactly tallies therewith. 
In the olden days the highest reverenced him. 
Now the very lowest and basest hold him in 

The consciousness was one of acute suffer- 
ing. With the sense of contrast strong upon 
him, he broke out into lamentation. 

" Now / am become their song." 

172 Job 

So bitterly did he feel this attitude of the base 
toward him, that he described himself by the 
figure of a besieged fortress, and these people 
as rolling themselves upon him. The bitter- 
ness of it all was that in the day of his calam- 
ity these men had forgotten his past honour, 
and in all probability indulged in mockery 
of it. 

" They chase mine honour as the wind." 

Shakespeare made Mark Antony say over the 
dead body of Csesar, 

" But yesterday the word of Caesar might 
Have stood against the world: now lies he 

And none so poor to do him reverence." 

' In the case of Job the experience was more 
bitter, for not only did the poor refuse to 
reverence him; the base despised him, and he 
had not found refuge in the silence of death. 
Continuing the story of his affliction Job 
again described his sufferings. In the midst of 
this reviling of the crowd his physical pain 
was continuous, and gave him no rest ; and the 
supreme sorrow of it all was that when he cried 
to God, there was no answer, but only the 
continuity of affliction. 

The Drama 173 

His final description of his suffering can 
only be understood as it is placed in sharp 
contrast with his first description of the days 
of his prosperity. Then God was his friend. 
Now He is cruel in His opposition. Then his 
children were about him. Now the children 
are not even named. Then he was in the midst 
of prosperity. Now his substance is dissolved. 
Then he was held in high esteem. Now he is 
passing to the shadow of death. 

y. Justificatio7i of his Complaining 

With this graphic contrast present to his 
mind Job claimed that his sufferings were 
justification for his complaining. This he 
urged by the declaration that in the past his 
attitude had ever been that of sympathy to- 
ward the oppressed. It is impossible to com- 
pare what he said about the attitude of God 
toward him, — 

" I cry unto Thee, and Thou dost not answer 
I stand up, and Thou lookest at me,'' 

with his past attitude toward those who were 
in trouble, — 

174 Job 

" Did I not weep for him that was in trouble? 
Was not my soul grieved for the needy? " 

without being conscious of at least the sus- 
picion of revolt at work in the soul of the man. 
Repeating in burning words the story of his 
suffering, he declared that this suffering was 
the cause of his lamentation. 



A Solemn Oath of Innocence. 



In Personal Life. 


The Look of evil Desire. 


The Act of Evil. 


The prostituted Life. 



Toward his Neighbour. 


Toward his Servants. 


Toward the Poor. 



Toward God. 







33, 34 


The Final Protestation. 


The Signature. 


The Demand for Indictment. 


The last Declaration. 


The Drama 177 

4. A Solemn Oath of Innocence 

Before passing to a consideration of Job's 
solemn oath of innocence, it may be well briefly 
to review the process to the point of this 
final address, because everything had been 
in preparation for what was now to be 

Following the silence of Zophar, he first 
protested his innocence, and then poured out 
his wrath upon his enemies, because they had 
failed in wisdom. Following this he had de- 
clared man's inability to find wisdom, and 
affirmed God's possession of it, and had said 
that man's wisdom consisted in the fear of the 
Lord, and in departure from evil. Finally he 
had contrasted his past prosperity with his 
present adversity, and had justified his com- 

He now uttered deliberately, and at length, 
and with evident care, his solemn oath of inno- 
cence. This constituted his final answer to the 
line of argument adopted by his three friends. 
In every speech they had endeavoured to insist 
upon one conclusion, that his affliction must 
be the outcome of sin. This he had replied to 
by proving that their philosophy was at fault 

1Y8 Job 

in many of its applications, and therefore that 
probably it was at fault in his case. 

He now in set and carefully prepared state- 
ments affirmed his innocence in personal life; 
in his dealings with his neighbour; in his at- 
titude toward God; ending with a final and 
technical protestation to which he affixed his 
signature, uttering a demand for definite in- 
dictment. The threefold affirmation of inno- 
cence touched the three relationships of human 
life indicated in the apostolic words, " soberly, 
righteously, godly.'' 

a. In Personal Life, '^Soberly'' 

Dealing with the matter of his personal 
purity, Job declared that he had been free 
from the look of evil desire, having made a 
covenant with his own eyes, and having acted 
as under the eyes of God. He claimed that 
he had abstained from all turning aside from 
the path of positive rectitude by calling upon 
himself a curse if this was not so. Finally 
in plainest language he affirmed his innocence 
of the grossest form of sin. 

In the process of this declaration of per- 
sonal innocence he called upon God to vindi- 

The Drama 179 

cate him; and by calling curses upon himself 
if his declarations were not true, he practically 
declared that had he sinned in any of these 
things, the calamities which had befallen him 
would have been explainable. The plain infer- 
ence is that seeing he had been innocent, the 
mystery of his suffering was still unsolved. 

/?. Toward his Neighbour, ^^Righteously'' 

Passing in the next place to the assertion of 
his innocence in his relation to his fellow-men, 
Job began with his servants. Recognizing 
their equality with him in the sight of God, 
he had not despised their cause when they had 
contention with him. 

Toward the poor he had acted the part, not 
only of justice, but of benevolence. He sug- 
gested ways in which men in high position 
might oppress the poor, those namely of rob- 
bery, of selfishness, of indifference, of injus- 
tice ; and declared that he had been innocent of 
all. He had never robbed the poor or the 
widow. He had not eaten his morsel alone. 
Even when the possibility of wronging men 
had been in his hand, when he sat in the gate, 
he had taken no advantage of it. 

180 Job 

He was perfectly willing to admit that his 
uprightness had been born of his fear of God, 
but he had been upright. 

Again the form in which this affirmation of 
relative rectitude was made, suggested that if 
he had failed in these respects his suffering 
would have been just, and the plain inference 
is that he was still utterly in the dark as to 
its justice, seeing that his conscience was clear 
in this matter. 

y. Toward God. '' Godly '' 

Finally Job protested his uprightness in his 
relation with God. There had been no idolatry 
indulged. His wealth had never been his con- 
fidence; neither had he been seduced into the 
worship of Nature, even at its highest, the 
shining of the sun, and the brightness of the 

Moreover there had been in him no evil dis- 
position, causing him to rejoice over the suf- 
ferings of others, and in this declaration there 
would seem to have been a satirical reference 
to his friends. 

Finally in this connection he denied hypoc- 
risy. He had not covered his transgression, or 

The Drama 181 

hidden iniquity in his bosom because of the 
fear of men. 

Once again the affirmation of this final move- 
ment in this oath of innocence indicated that 
had he been guilty of any of these things, then 
there would have been an explanation. His 
consciousness of mystery was revealed by the 
fact that in the midst of this proclamation of 
integrity, he broke off into the final words of 
his protestation, and finally cried, 

" Oh that I had one to hear me ! " 

6, The Final Protestation 

In parenthesis he declared that to his oath 
he subscribed his signature or mark, and asked 
that God would answer him. 

His last words constitute a call for the defi- 
nite indictment of his adversary, upon which 
his afflictions had proceeded, ending with a 
curse upon himself if such indictment could be 
proven true. 

The final words, " the words of Job are 
ended," are generally attributed to the author 
of the book, or some subsequent editor or copy- 
ist. Personally I cannot see why they do not 

182 Job 

constitute Job's own last sentence. They are 
graphic and full of force. He had nothing 
more to say. The mystery was unsolved, and 
he relapsed into silence and announced his 
decision so to do. 


The Silence of the Three. 

The Anger of Elihu. 


xxxii. 1-5 



i. Preliminary. 


xxxii. 6 — xxxiii. 7 
xxxii. 6-22 

I. The Reason of his Silence. 


2. The Reason of his Speech. 

a. Wisdom from God. 

p. The Failure of the Three. 

y. His own Conviction. 





3. The Method of his Speech. 

21, 22 


xxxiii. 1-7 

I. The Appeal. 

I, 2 

2. The Argument. 

a. Elihu's Sincerity. 

p. His Relationship to Job. 




The Drama 185 


The last voice in the earthly controversy 
is now heard. It is a new voice, and oppor- 
tunity to answer never came to Job. More- 
over in the final movements God made no 
reference to what is said by this man, except 
in the words in which He suddenly inter- 
rupted his speech. In the Epilogue, when the 
first three friends are reintroduced, Elihu is 
not referred to. 

Nevertheless the long speech of this man 
is full of interest, and moves on a higher plane 
than that of the first three. 

After words of introduction, the speech of 
Elihu consists, first of a preliminary section; 
then of a careful answer to some of the things 
which Job had said ; and finally of a declara- 
tion of his own philosophy. 


In a brief paragraph the author of the 
Dook introduces Elihu to the readers. The 
three friends " ceased to answer Job, because 
he was righteous in his own eyes '' ; that is, be- 

186 Job 

cause they were conscious of their inability to 
bring conviction of guilt to him. 

It now becomes evident that Elihu, a much 
younger man, had heard the whole argument, 
and he was moved with indignation. His anger 
was stirred against Job because he had justi- 
fied himself rather than God; his anxiety had 
evidently been to maintain his own innocence, 
even though in doing so, in the light of the 
philosophy of his friends, he charged God with 
injustice. Elihu evidently felt that his anxiety 
ought to have been to defend God, in spite of 
all the difficulties of the situation. 

His anger was kindled against Job's friends 
because they had been unequal to the task to 
which they had set themselves. They had at- 
tempted to argue with him, and had failed. 
Elihu was conscious that they had found no 
answer to all he had to say. Nevertheless they 
had condemned Job, and for that he w^as angry 
with them. As he had listened to them, he was 
convinced of his own ability to deal with the 
case, but he had refrained from speaking until 
the elder men had finished. 

i. Preliminary 

Before proceeding to the main argument of 

The Drama 187 

his address Elihu made an apology, and ut- 
tered an appeal. 


He declared that the reason of his silence 
had been that of his youth, and as he was about 
to speak, he gave a reason for doing so. He 
accepted the position which Job had taken in 
his argument concerning wisdom, namely that 
understanding in man was the result of the in- 
spiration of God. He claimed however that 
there was a spirit in man capable of receiving 
such inspiration. As he had listened he had 
come to the conclusion that age is not always 
wisdom. Addressing himself to the friends he 
declared that he had waited and they had 
failed. None of them had succeeded in con- 
vincing Job, neither had they answered his 
words. Therefore he would adopt a new 
method. Declaring that he had much to say, 
indeed that he was full of words, he affirmed 
his decision to utter them, and drew attention 
to the fact that he would speak without respect 
of person, uttering only the things of which he 
was convinced. 

188 Job 


He then appealed to Job to hear him, as- 
suring him of his absolute sincerity in motive, 
and making it perfectly clear that whatever he 
said to him would be uttered, not from the 
standpoint of the judge, but rather from that 
of comradeship. He had no desire to fill him 
with terror, but rather to help him. If the 
marginal reading be adopted, 

" Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's 

instead of, 

" Behold, I am toward God even as thou art," 

it will be seen that the appeal of Elihu was 
based upon the cry which Job had uttered in 
the course of his controversy with his three 
friends, for a man who should stand between 
him and God, and lay his hand on both. Be- 
lieving that he was speaking as the result of 
the breath of the Almighty illuminating his 
spirit, and knowing himself to be of the same 
clay as Job, he felt justified in asking the 
attention of the suffering and bewildered 

The Drama 189 

man, on the ground of his own desire and 

The tone and temper manifested through 
these preliminary words reveal Elihu as a man 
w^ho approached the question from an entirely 
different standpoint to that of the three 
friends who had so grievously failed. Through- 
out their arguments one was conscious of the 
coldness of their method. Every attempt they 
made to bring Job to confession of sin w^as 
born of a hard-and-fast philosophy. Elihu ap- 
proached Job with words that indicated his 
consciousness of that wider, ampler outlook, 
resulting from direct communion between the 
inspiring Spirit of God, and the spirit of man. 
He came to Job with strong convictions, with 
a fine courtesy, and above all, with the recog- 
nition of the fact that the final solution of the 
whole problem must come from God. 

ii. EliHU answers Job. xxxiii, 8— xxxv. 


1. First Quotation. 8-n 

2. The Answer. 12-33 

a. General. 12, 13 

p. The Method of God. 14-28 

He speaks once, twice 14-18 

He chastens Man. 19-28 

V. The Summary and Appeal. 29-33 


An Appeal to Wise Men. xxxiv. 1-4 

b. TWO QUOTATIONS AND ANSWERS. xxxiv. 5-xxxv. 

1. The Two Quotations. xxxiv. 5-9 

o. The First. 5, 6 

p. The Second. 7-9 

2. Answer to First Quotation. xxxiv. 10-37 

o. God cannot do Wickedness. 10-20 
^. His Judgment based upon perfect Knowledge. 21-28 
■y. It is Man's Wisdom to learn and submit. 29-33 

S. This Job has not done. 34-37 

3. Answer to Second Quotation. xxxv. 

a. Re-statement of Job's Complaint. 2, 3 

^. God unaffected by Man. 4-8 

V. Men are not heard because they cry amiss. 9-15 

S. The Charge against Job. 16 

The Drama 191 

ii. Elihu answers Job 

Elihu's formal answer to Job is character- 
ized by a very clearly marked method. He 
quoted some of the sentences from what Job 
had actually said, which in his opinion re- 
vealed Job's true position, and replied to these 
declarations. The movement falls into three 
parts, in the first of which he made one quota- 
tion, and answered it. In the second he made 
a new appeal to the wise men to listen. In the 
third he made two quotations, and answered 


1. First Quotation 

That which we have described as the first 
quotation is in reality a series of quota- 
tions, summarizing Job's contentions. In his 
speeches he had unequivocally affirmed his 
own innocence ; he had declared that God had 
been against him ; the plain inference of these 
declarations of Job being that God's hostility 
to him was without cause. 

192 Job 

2. The Answer 

To that position Elihu objected, and pro- 
ceeded with his answer, declaring first in gen- 
eral terms that God is greater than man, and 
therefore that man has no right whatever to 
ask any explanation of what He does. 

This however is not all. While it is per- 
fectly true that man has no right to ask an 
answer of God, it is equally true that God 
speaks; and Elihu proceeded to declare both 
the method and the purpose of such speech. 
His method was that of opening the ears of 
men in the hours of sleep, through dreams and 
visions sealing instruction; and the purpose 
of such speech was that God is ever seeking to 
rescue man rather than destroy him. 

God has another method with man. It is 
that of chastening, which Elihu proceeded to 
describe in detail, and in such way as to cover 
the very experiences through which Job had 
been passing. Thus, while Job had been com- 
plaining that God was not to be found, and 
that he had no dealing with Him, Elihu sug- 
gested that all his affliction was part of the 
Divine activity, and a method of Divine heal- 
ing. What he had needed through the process 
kWas an angel or a messenger, an interpreter to 

The Drama 193 

explain to him the meaning of his pain. Pro- 
ceeding he declared the purpose of chastise- 
ment. If such an interpreter, as he had re- 
ferred to, could be found, then it would be 
understood that the very chastisement of God 
is gracious, and again man would be restored, 
and would rejoice in his restoration. His de- 
scription of the restoration is full of beauty, 
but it is to be noticed that in the song which 
he puts into the mouth of the restored man 
there is a confession of sin. 

It is evident that Elihu looked upon himself 
as the necessary interpreter, and here the main 
contention of his argument took shape. It 
was, that through suffering, God is dealing 
with man to some higher issue. According to 
this argument suffering is educational. 

Elihu ended his first movement in his an- 
swer by challenging Job to hear him, and to 
answer if he had anything to say. If he had 
nothing to say, then he was to remain silent 
while Elihu continued. 

Pause. An Appeal to Wise Men 

It is evident that Elihu waited to give Job 
the chance of reply; and seeing that he was 
silent, proceeded with his own address. He 

194 Job 

first made a new appeal to the wise men, ask- 
ing that they would listen in order that they 
might try his words. 


Job having given no answer to his challenge, 
Elihu continued his answer to the things which 
Job had said. This time he made two quota- 
tions from his speeches. 

1. The Two Quotations 

The first may be summarized as the conten- 
tion of Job that he had been afflicted by God, 
notwithstanding his integrity. This quotation 
was followed by an exclamation in which 
Elihu declared that in this attitude of scorn 
Job was in the company of the workers of 
iniquity, and of wicked men. 

He then made his second quotation, in which 
Job had suggested that nothing is gained by 
loyalty to God. Of course neither of these 
quotations was direct. They rather summar- 
ized the conclusions which Job's arguments 
seemed to warrant, and it may freely be 
granted that they were perfectly fair sum- 
maries thereof. 

The Drama 195 

2. Answer to First Quotation 

Elihu immediately set himself to answer 
both these positions. Job's declaration that he 
had been afflicted by God notwithstanding his 
integrity, reflected upon God ; and in a passage 
full of beauty Elihu affirmed that God cannot 
do wickedness. He again made his appeal to 
the men of understanding to listen, and then 
affirmed that His authority is beyond all ap- 
peal. His judgments are perfectly righteous. 
It is impossible that He should be influenced 
by any low motive. He has no regard for 
human distinctions of rank or of wealth, for all 
men are alike the work of His hands. It is 
unthinkable therefore that God can do any 

He proceeded to argue that His government 
is based upon perfect knowledge. No man 
can hide from Him. It is unnecessary there- 
fore for Him to institute special trial. Job 
had demanded the right to stand before God 
and plead his cause. Elihu declared this to 
be unnecessary, seeing that God knew it thor- 
oughly. All His judgments are the outcome 
of his understanding. 

It is most evidently therefore the wisdom 

196 Job 

of man to submit, and to learn. Whether God 
deals with a nation or a man, His method is 
alike irresistible and right. 

This Job had not done, and by what he had 
said he had at least suggested that the action of 
God had been unjust, and thus he had added 
rebellion to sin. 

It is evident, especially throughout this an- 
swer to the first quotation, that Elihu was ad- 
dressing the whole company, both the friends 
of Job, and Job himself. For the most part his 
words seemed to be directed to them, although 
he occasionally adopted the method of direct 
speech to Job. 

3. Answer to Second Quotation 

Before replying to the second quotation 
Elihu repeated it, introducing it by an inter- 
pretation of its real meaning according to his 
understanding of it. According to him Job 
had said, 

" What advantage will it be unto Thee? 
And, What profit shall I have, more than 
if I had sinned?" 

Elihu suggested that when Job questioned the 

The Drama 197 

advantage of serving God, he set up his own 
righteousness as being more than God's. 

His answer consisted of a declaration of the 
truth of the Divine sovereignty from his stand- 
point, as in the form of a series of questions he 
revealed his conviction that God was unaf- 
fected, either by man's sin, or by his righteous- 
ness. His sin does nothing to God, and his 
righteousness adds nothing to Him. 

This view had been advanced before in the 
controversy. Undoubtedly there is an element 
of truth in it, but it lacks completeness. The 
whole revelation of God shows that, w^hereas, 
according to the terms and requirements of in- 
finite righteousness, God is independent of 
man, yet according to the nature of His heart 
of love, which none of these men understood, 
He cannot be independent of man. 

Proceeding however, Elihu declared that the 
reason why men do not find God is that the 
motive of their prayer is wrong. The prayer 
of Job had been the outcome of his pride. His 
petitions had been for help for himself, rather 
than a seeking after God for His own sake. 
He maintained that God does not hear vanity, 
that He does not regard arrogance. Finally 
he definitely charged Job with this wrong- 
ness of motive in his search for God. 

iii. Elihu's Philosophy. xxxvi., xxxvii. 

a. THE PLACE OF SUFFERING. xxxvi. 1-25 

1. Appeal to Job. 2-4 

2. The Purpose of Pain. 5-15 

a. The Righteous Government of God. 5-7 

/3. The Value of Suffering. 8-14 

y. The Philosophy summarized. 15 

3. Application to Job. 16-21 

4. Reaffirmation of the Divine Purpose, 

with Appeal. 22-25 

b. THE GREATNESS OF GOD. xxxvi. 26— xxxvii. 

I. Manifestations of Greatness, xxxvi. 26— xxxvii. 13 

a. Rain. xxxvi. 26-28 

/3. Thunderstorm. 29 — xxxvii. 5 

y. Winter. 


8. Disposition and Purposes of 

Storms. 1 1 -1 3 

Application to Job. 

xxxvii. 14-20 

a. To Consider. 


^. To know his Inability to know. IS-17 

y. To know his Inability to do. 


8. To know the Folly of Speech. 

19, 20 

Reaffirmation of God's Majesty 

and Justice. 

xxxvii. 21-24 

a. Majesty. 


p. Justice. 

23&, 24 

The Drama 199 

iii. Elihu's Philosophy 

The last section of the speech of Elihu con- 
sists of a revelation of his philosophy, and 
falls into two parts, in the first of which he 
dealt with the place of suffering; and in the 
second with the greatness of God. The philoso- 
phy is revealed in the first movement, and de- 
fended in the second. 


His statement concerning the place of suf- 
fering is introduced by an appeal to Job ; pro- 
ceeds in a declaration of the purpose of pain ; 
is followed by a direct application to Job; 
and ends with a reaffirmation of the Divine 
purpose, accompanied by an appeal. 

1. Appeal to Job 

Elihu appealed to Job for patience because 
he had something to say on God's behalf; be- 
cause he was about to take the most compre- 
hensive outlook; and finally because the 
words he would utter would be the words 
of truth. 

200 Job 

Absolutely sure of his ground he plunged 
into his theme. His first affirmation was that 
of the righteous government of God. He 
denied that He despised any. His understand- 
ing is mighty. It is not true that God " pre- 
serveth the life of the wicked." It is true that 
He '^ giveth to the afflicted their right." 

2. The Purpose of Pain 

He then reached the heart of his argument 
as he proceeded to declare his conception of 
the value of suffering. Admitting the fact that 
the righteous suffer, he declared the purpose 
of God therein to be that of showing them 
themselves, opening their ears to instruction, 
and commanding that they return from in- 
iquity. In view of this the responsibility of 
man is clear. To hearken and obey, is to be 
restored to prosperity and pleasura To refuse 
to hearken, is to perish, to cry out for help, 
and to find none, and to become angry. Thus 
the issue of suffering is determined by man's 
response to it. He then summarized his whole 
philosophy in one sentence, 

" He delivereth the afflicted by his affliction, 
And openeth their ear in oppression." 

The Drama 201 

Thus Elihu^s view was that God has some- 
thing to teach man, which man can only learn 
by the way of pain. Whether this covers all 
the ground may be questionable. There can, 
however, be no doubt that his view was far 
nearer the truth than anything which the 
former speakers had advanced 

3. Application to J oh 

He made direct appeal to Job when he de- 
clared to him that God's purpose in his suffer- 
ing w^as to lead him out of distress into a 
broad place of abounding prosperity, but Job 
had failed. Elihu recognized his condition, 
that he was in circumstances such as those 
which befall the wicked. He warned him not 
to be led away by his sufficiency. 

4. Reaffirmation of the Divine Purpose, with 


Reaffirming the Divine purpose, Elihu made 
his final appeal to Job to be willing to learn. 

Thus Elihu practically charged Job with sin, 
not as the cause of his suffering, but as the 
outcome of it. His sin was that of restlessness 
under suffering. God had something to teach 

202 Job 

him which he had not been able to learn be- 
cause of his self-sufficiency, and his restless^ 
ness under affliction. 


Elihu then emphasized his argument by 
speaking of the greatness of God, first giving 
illustrations of the manifestations of that 
greatness; then making direct application 
thereof to the case of Job ; and finally reaffirm- 
ing his conviction both of the majesty and jus- 
tice of God. 

1. Manifestations of Greatness 

It has been suggested that this last part of 
Elihu's speech really consists of a description 
of what was happening around him at the mo- 
ment. When presently God speaks. He does so 
out of the midst of a whirlwind, and the idea 
is that it was this great storm in its approach 
and force, which Elihu was looking at, and 

His first illustration was that of the rain, 
and it is a wonderful description of the draw- 
ing up of water into the clouds, their spread- 
ing of themselves over the sky, and their pour- 

The Drama 203 

ing out in rain upon the earth. This rain was 
accompanied by the mutterings of thunder. 
Suddenly there was the flash of the lightning 
followed by deep darkness. Again lightning 
that strikes the mark, and the cattle are seen 
to be conscious of the storm. Gradually its 
violence increases. The thunder is louder, 
and the lightning more vivid. It is a strange 
and wild commotion of Nature, in which the 
south wind and the north are in conflict, and 
intermixed with the rain is ice. The purpose 
of the storm may be for correction, or for 
the sake of the land, or for mercy. 

The illustrations are all those of stress and 
storm, and even though they were descrip- 
tions of things happening around, he doubtless 
chose them with a view to the circumstances 
through which Job had passed. Elihu desired 
to illustrate God's spiritual method by His 
method in Nature. 

2. Application to Job 

With great directness of speech Elihu then 
asked Job to consider. He appealed to him to 
know his inability to know the way of the 
lightning, the balancing of the clouds, the 
warmth of the south wind. He appealed to 

204 Job 

him moreover, to know his inability to do. 
Was he able to act as he had seen God acting in 
the storm? He appealed to him moreover, to 
know the folly of his own speech. What can 
a man say to a God Whose methods he does 
not know, and Whose activity he could not 

3. Reaffirmation of God's Majesty and Justice 

Thus Elihu appealed to Job to hear, to con- 
sider. Even in the midst of the storm there 
w^as a light which men could not see, a golden 
splendour which was the majesty of God. It 
was impossible to find out the Almighty. Even 
in the matter of power He was beyond all 
human interpretation. 

Lastly, Elihu attempted to interpret to Job 
by the use of the storm the fact of his inability 
to know God, and therefore the folly of his 
speech against God. It was a great theme, but 
Elihu was not equal to it, and in the midst of 
his speech he was interrupted by the voice of 


AND JOB. xxxviii.-xlii. 6 




i. The Challenge of God. xxxviii. 1-3 

ii. God and the Material Universe. 





I. The Earth. 


2. The Sea. 

8-1 1 

3. Daybreak. 


4. Deeps. 




I. The First Heaven. Atmospheric. 


a. Light and Darkness 


p. Snow and Hail. 

22, 23 

y. Storms. 


S. Rain, Dew, Ice, Frost. 


2. The Second Heaven. Stellar. 

31. 32 

3. The Government of the Heavens. 


iii. God and the Material Universe 

Animal Creation. xxxviii. 39— xxxix. 

a. THE LION. xxxviii. 39, 40 

b. THE RAVEN. 41 

c. THE WILD GOATS AND HINDS. xxxix. 1-4 

d. THE WILD ASS. 5-8 

e. THE WILD OX. 9-12 

f. THE OSTRICH. 13-18 

g. THE HORSE. 19-25 

II. INTERLUDE. xi. i-s 

i. Jehovah's Challenge. i, 2 

ii. Job's Answer. 3-5 

The Drama 207 


The third movement in the drama consists 
of an account of the controversy betA een Je- 
hovah and Job. Out of the midst of the whirl- 
wind the Divine voice for which Job had long 
been waiting, was heard. Almost the entire 
section is occupied with the actual speech of 
Jehovah; two brief paragraphs only being 
needed to record the answers of Job. The 
movement falls into four parts. In the first 
Jehovah spoke, unveiling His glory. The sec- 
ond gives the account of a brief interlude in 
that process of unveiling. The third is the 
continuation of the revealing speech of Je- 
hovah; while the last is Job's final answer 


The first unveiling consists of an introduc- 
tory challenge ; declarations concerning the re- 
lation of God to the inanimate facts of the 
material universe; and thirdly, declarations 
concerning the relation of God to the animal 

208 Job 

i. The Challenge of God 

The first word of the Divine voice speaking 
from the whirlwind was that of challenge. 

" Who is this that darkeneth counsel 
By words without knowledge? " 

This has been variously interpreted, as having 
reference to Job and to Elihu. While the 
whole speech was the answer of Jehovah to 
Job, the introductory question almost cer- 
tainly referred to the speech of Elihu. The 
challenge did not charge Elihu with false in- 
terpretation, but with darkening counsel by 
the use of words which he himself did not per- 
fectly understand. As we saw in considering 
the closing portion of his speech, his theme was 
too great for him, and God took it from him, 
and dealt with it Himself. It should now be 
carefully noted that throughout the whole of 
these wonderful words of Jehovah no attempt 
was made to explain to Job the mystery of his 
suffering. The method of God was that of un- 
veiling His own glory in certajn respects, be- 
fore the observation of His own servant. 

ii. God and the Material Universe. In- 
The material universe was made to pass be- 

The Drama 209 

fore the consciousness of Job in its relationship 
to God, and the first unveiling was that of the 
simplest facts of that universe, which are yet 
seen to be sublime, and beyond the perfect 
understanding of man. This movement falls 
into two sections, the first of which is occupied 
with the earth, and the second takes in the 
larger outlook of the surrounding heavens. 


In a series of questions the work of God in 
creation was suggested. Who laid the founda- 
tions of the earth, determined its measures, 
and stretched upon it the line? Jehovah in- 
quired of Job whereupon the foundations were 
fastened? Then turning to the sea again, He 
described His authority over it as He had 
clothed it in clouds and marked its limits and 
held it within bounds. The next description 
was that of daybreak, and the final one of the 
deep and unknown places of the earth, where 
are the very springs of the sea, and which is as 
the shadow of death. 


The next outlook suggested was that upon 
the surrounding heavens, and here again two 

210 Job 

were passed in review; the first, or atmos- 
pheric ; and the second, or stellar. 

In dealing with the first, illustrations of the 
things which: man may observe, but cannot ex- 
plain, were suggested. The way of light and 
darkness, the mysteries of snow and hail, the 
majesty and sweep of the storm, the origin and 
method of rain, dew, ice, and frost. 

Similarly, illustrations were taken from the 
stellar spaces, the chain of the Pleiades, the 
bands of Orion, the signs of the Zodiac, the 
going of the Bear. 

All these were suggested in brief questions 
which nevertheless flash with glory ; and as the 
illustrations passed before the mind of Job, 
he was made to feel his ignorance and im- 
potence. By this method God suggested His 
own knowledge and interest, and the perfect 
ease of His stupendous activity. 

The movement ended by a presentation of the 
effect of His government in the same sphere; 
the ordinances of the heavens, their influences 
upon earth, the bringing of rains, and the send- 
ing forth of lightnings. If man can perchance 
do any of these things, who then put wisdom 
in him, or gave him understanding? It is 
perfectly evident that the method of God was 
that of revealing to His servant His own power 

The Drama 211 

and interest; and by comparison man's im- 
potence and ignorance. 

iii. God and the Material Universe. Ani- 
mal Creation 

Still the unveiling of the Divine glory pro- 
ceeded, but now in its application to the things 
of life. First a group of simple questions 
served to illustrate the impotence of man, and 
the omnipotence of God. The feeding of lions 
and young lions; the fact that the cry of the 
young raven is prayer in the ears of God, which 
He answers with food; the mystery of the 
begetting and birth of the lower animals, with 
the sorrows of travail and the finding of 
strength ; the freedom and wildness and splen- 
did untameableness of the wild ass ; the uncon- 
trolled strength of the wild ox; in all these 
things Jehovah compelled Job to the conscious- 
ness of his own ignorance and impotence by 
revealing to him His knowledge and might. 

And still the unveiling went forward, as 
differing manifestations of foolishness and 
power and wisdom, as they were evident among 
birds and beasts, were dealt with. The ostrich 
rejoicing in the power of her pinions, an#in 
her folly abandoning her eggs and her young, 

212 Job 

was described; and her very foolishness was 
accounted for as resulting from the act of 
God. He had deprived her of wisdom. The 
war-horse with his might, who was neverthe- 
less tameable, so that he would serve man, and 
come to rejoice amidst strange and awful 
battle-scenes and sounds, was yet not of man's 
creation. All his essential strength was 
Divinely bestowed. The hawk with wisdom 
journeying out to the south land; and the 
eagle placing her nest on high, far from the 
possibility of intrusion, yet in such place of 
observation as enabled her to feed her young; 
these also were God-guided. 

The whole movement revealed the fact that 
there is nothing that happens in the lower 
realms of life apart from the knowledge and 
might of Jehovah. Even though in the econ- 
omy of His universal government God has com- 
mitted dominion to man, it is nevertheless 
dominion over facts and forces which man has 
not originated, neither does he sustain. 


llie unveiling of the glory paused for a brief 
moment as Jehovah addressed Himself imme- 

The Drama 213 

diately to His servant, and demanded an an- 
swer to the questions He had asked. 

The answer is full of suggestiveness. The 
man who in mighty speech and strong defiance 
had been of unbroken spirit in the presence of 
all the arguments of his friends, now cried 

" Behold, I am of small account." 

The lesson was being learned. It was but 
the first stage therein. He had to be taught 
that he was of much account to God. For 
the moment, in order that the final truth 
might carry all the more weight, it was only 
important that he should realize the true rela- 
tion existing between himself and God. That 
this realization was taking possession of his 
soul was evident from his inquiry, 

" What shall I answer Thee? " 

and in his expressed determination to lay his 
hand upon his mouth, and so cause his speech 
to cease. He had spoken once, yea twice, but 
now had nothing to say. Silence was at once 
his opportunity of wisdom, and his manifesta- 
tion thereof. A 


xl. 6 — xli. 

i. The Challenge of God. xl. 6-14 



ii. Two Illustrations. xL 15— xii. 

a. BEHEMOTH. 15-24 

b. LEVIATHAN. xli. 

IV. JOB'S ANSWER. xlii. 1-6 

i. His Knowledge of God. 2 

ii. His Knowledge of Himself. 3 

iii. His Repentance. 4-6 

The Drama 215 


Again Jehovah proceeded to bring Job to 
the comparison of his own weakness and fool- 
ishness, with that of the might and wisdom 
of God. As at the commencement of the first 
unveiling, so now He charged him to gird up 
his loins like a man. In each case there was 
in the introductory word a recognition by 
Jehovah of the dignity of man. The things 
which He had described, all those of the lower 
reaches of His own creation could not see or 
answer the Divine wisdom. Job could, and 
therefore he w^as called upon to exercise the 
distinctive powers of his humanity. 

In the second unveiling Jehovah dealt with 
one particular matter in w-hich Job had mani- 
fested his folly; it falls into two parts, first a 
challenge to Job; and secondly, two illustra- 
tions, showing him how impossible it would be 
for him to answer the challenge. 

i. The Challenge of God 

In the midst of all his suffering Job had 
by inference flung blame upon the method of 

216 Job 

God in the government of the universe. This 
Jehovah now challenged. He gave no expla- 
nation of the method of His government, but 
suggested to Job that he should attempt to 
occupy God's place in the universe. There was 
a fine and tender satire in His call to Job 
to assume these reins of government. Let him 
deck himself and array himself, and exercise 
his power. Let him do it in the moral realm 
in which his criticism had been at work. Let 
him abase and humble the proud and lofty, 
the evil and wicked ones. When Job was able 
to do this, then Jehovah would acknowledge 
that his own right hand could save him. 

ii. Two Illustrations 

Having thus challenged His servant to as- 
sume the government of the world, and that 
in the moral realm, Jehovah suggested two 
experiments. It has been objected by some 
that the descriptions of behemoth and levia- 
than are interpolations, as they do not seem 
to fit in with the general argument at this 
point. This surely misses the real thought. 
Having, as we have seen, called upon Job to 
exercise government, and that in the moral 
realm, Jehovah brought before him two ani- 

The Drama 217 

mals, which were non-moral, and suggested 
that Job should exercise his authority and 
power over them. This would be a much 
easier matter than that of governing men. 
The material always yields itself to man's 
government with greater ease than the moral. 
If this man could be made to feel his absolute 
weakness in the lower sphere, he would nat- 
urally deduce therefrom his impotence in the 
higher. If he were unable to tame and govern 
these monsters, how could he assume the func- 
tions of the One Who made them, and perfectly 
governed them? 

There was the playfulness of a great tender- 
ness in the suggestions which Jehovah made to 
Job about these fierce creatures. Could Job 
catch them with a rope or with a hook? Would 
leviathan pray to Job? Could Job make a 
servant or a plaything of him for himself or 
his maidens? There was fine and yet most 
tender and humorous satire in the words of 

" Lay thine hand upon him ; 
Remember the battle, and do so no more." 

If none dare stir up leviathan, who can stand 
before God? If Job dare not attempt to catch 
or subdue or play with this animal, how could 

218 Job 

he hope to enter into competition with God 
in the government of the universe? 

The question being asked, the description 
returned to the beast, in all the magnificence of 
his strength; and indeed, with a picture of 
men attempting to overcome him with sword, 
or spear, or dart, or pointed shaft; while all 
the time in fierce anger he held the citadel 
of his being, and became king over all the sons 
of pride. 

Thus the unveiling of God's own glory 
ended, not in the high reaches of the spirit, 
but in its manifestation of the knowledge and 
mastery of the beasts of the river and the field. 
This is assuredly not the method we should 
have adopted in dealing with Job, but the 
issue proves that it was the perfect method. 
For a man who knew God it was only necessary 
to make His commonest knowledge flame in 
its true glory, for him to climb therefrom 
into consciousness of the sublimest lesson of 
all — that of the perfection of the Divine gov- 


Job's answer was full of the stateliness of 
a great submission. As he spoke the words 

The Drama 219 

of surrender, he was greater in his submission 
than all the circumstances into the presence 
of which he had been brought. In the hour 
of his bending he rose to kingship over the 
forces that had vexed and harassed him. In 
his confession of the sufficiency of God, of 
the folly of his own past speech, of his present 
repentance in the light of God's glory, there 
was rev ealecLA-^lory _ol God, not manifest in 
any other part of the universe which had been 
dealt with in the Theoghany. This utterance 
of surrender was God's victory of vindication. 
There had been no explanation of pain, but 
pain was forgotten, and all the circumstances 
of trial against which the spirit of the man 
had rebelled were out of sight. He had found 
himself, in relationship to God. What Eli- 
phaz had advised him to do, but could not teach 
him how, he had now done. Acquainted with 
God, his treasure was laid in the dust, and 
he had found Jehovah to be his all-sufficient 



i. The Prevailing Intercessor. 7-10 

ii. The Return of his Acquaintances. h 

iii. The Prosperity. 12-17 

a. HIS WEALTH. 12 

b. HIS CHILDREN. 13-15 

c. LENGTH OF DAYS. 16, 17 

The Drama 221 



i. The Prevailing Intercessor 

The great victory being won in the soul 
of Job, Jehovah dealt with his friends. His 
wrath had been kindled against them, but it 
was mingled with mercy. Their intention had 
been right, even' though their words had been 
wrong; in their attempt to explain God they 
had not spoken concerning Him the thing that 
was right. Notwithstanding all his murmur- 
ing, nay, in the very affirmations of his in- 
ability to comprehend, Job had spoken pro- 
founder truth concerning God than they had. 

Jehovah's vindication of Job to them was 
marked by the fact that He spoke of him as 
" My servant," the same term which He used 
in describing him at the beginning of the 
process. It was also marked by the fact that 
He appointed His servant as intercessor on 
behalf of his friends. They had attempted to 
restore Job to God by philosophy. He was 
appointed by Jehovah to be the means of re- 
storing them by prayer. 

222 Job 

In the sacred act of intercession his own 
captivity ended, and he entered into the final 
freedom of the soul. As at the beginning 
there were things to be said in favour of these 
three friends of Job, so also at the close. Their 
sincerity was manifest in the fact that they 
submitted, brought their offerings, and made 

ii. The Return of his Acquaintances 

There is a touch of human nature, as we 
all know it, in the account of how in the days 
of his restoration, the acquaintances of the 
earlier days gathered back to him, to share his 
hospitality, and to bring him presents. 

iii. The Prosperity 

All the rest is told in brief sentences. His 
final prosperity was greater than that of the 
early days. His wealth was increased, his chil- 
dren were multiplied, and his own spiritual 
experience was enriched. He had passed into 
the fire, and now emerging from it, Jehovah 
granted him length of days, and fulness of 

The Drama 223 

In ending our survey of this great book, it 
is well that we make no attempt to formulate 
a philosophy which includes a solution of the 
problem of pain. 

This much at least is taught, that through 
the process this man came to richer, fuller 
life, and that he came there as a result of a 
fuller knowledge of God. 

Date Due